Another summer and another period of change for Tottenham Hotspur, as they this time have had to deal with a change in management, even if the playing staff has yet to suffer any drastic overhaul, as yet.
Only Ben Davies has been brought in so far in terms of players that will be expected to play on a regular basis, with Spurs having learned the lessons of 12 months previous in which they paid the penalty for shelling out over £100 million on several new players to compensate for the loss of Gareth Bale.
The season hardly went to plan as Spurs went through two managers before giving Mauricio Pochettino the gig in June, with very few of their summer buys impressing after having been plucked from overseas leagues.
Pochettino has claimed there will not be too much activity coming in to Spurs, given the bloated squad inherited following that transfer splurge last summer and the return of several players from loan spells. Any new arrivals, in fact, will need to be counter-balanced by a departure, as well.
Many of the signings of last summer are to be given a second chance, with Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado in particular set to be handed the opportunity to justify their exorbitant transfer fees. But others are facing a swift exit. Vlad Chiriches, for instance, looks likely to move to Italy after failing to settle, while Nacer Chadli’s future is looking all the more uncertain.
Spurs have reportedly offered Chadli, purchased last summer for £7 million, as part of a deal to bring Memphis Depay to the club and Sunderland have now become interested in his availability, with the suggestion being that he has no future in North London anymore.
One can understand why Chadli would be disappointed in such a decision by Spurs, given that only four players in their squad created more than the 31 chances the Belgian carved out last season, despite the fact the summer signing from Twente completed 90 minutes on just six occasions in the Premier League.
Creativity was a big problem for Spurs throughout the season as Soldado was frequently starved of service, so he will feel hard done by in conceivably having been given too few minutes to impress; especially given only the two strikers and the impressive Christian Eriksen achieved more than the three assists Chadli managed.
Furthermore, only Nabil Bentaleb and Mousa Dembele of Spurs attacking contingent achieved a better passing accuracy than the 85% accuracy Chadli recorded, though it was perhaps his shooting which was detrimental to the Spurs effort, and which ultimately cost him regular first team action.
Chadli only hit the target with six shots all season as he recorded just one (admittedly very good) goal to wrap up a 4-0 victory over Newcastle United in February, despite attempting 23 excluding 10 blocked efforts. Statistically speaking, the Belgian attacker hit the target with a very poor 26% of his attempts on goal, overall.
A missed sitter against Arsenal during the White Hart Lane tie proved the turning point for fans in their opinion of the Belgian and with Chadli, at the age of 25, hardly representing an up-and-coming prospect, one can understand why they might want more end product from the Belgian.
It’s a tough call for Spurs given that they do need to reduce the numbers in their squad ahead of the new season, and with certain players having showed a lot of promise in pre-season, he is one that could easily be shifted, especially given his poor attitude shown in the run-in to the season.
Tim Sherwood rubbed a number of players up the wrong way, however, and second chances have been granted to a number of them, so maybe a second season should be awarded to Chadli as well, especially given how light Spurs are on the flanks in terms of personnel.
He did not have the greatest of campaigns last season, but Chadli showed enough promise in places to warrant a second bite of the cherry, if only as a squad player, at least until an improvement – such as Memphis Depay – can be acquired.
Related Teams: Tottenham Hotspur