Finishing in the top four has become the priority for several Premier League clubs whenever they fall out of the title race. Since last season, the Premier League has been a two-horse race, with Liverpool and Manchester City fighting for the title.
Although the likes of Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur have tried to challenge the authority of the Reds and the Citizens, their efforts have proved to be futile. The dominance of Liverpool and Manchester City has made the other clubs settle for consolation spots.
Just when the Premier League season seemed to reach its business end, the coronavirus pandemic struck the world and football was no exception. Several non-coaching staff have lost their jobs, with the clubs looking to cut down on costs.
However, the pandemic has also come as a blessing in disguise for certain clubs as they now have the opportunity to get their injured players fit if the season resumes.
When the Premier League season came to a halt, Tottenham Hotspur were in eighth place with 41 points from 29 games, seven adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.
But with nine games still left to play for Jose Mourinho’s team, they have a good chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season. Here are three reasons why Tottenham can finish in the top four in the present campaign.
#1 Returning Harry Kane
Besides succumbing to a 1-0 defeat against Southampton on New Year’s day, Tottenham Hotspur lost their star striker Harry Kane, owing to a hamstring injury. The England international had to undergo surgery and was not expected to miss the remainder of the season as well as the EURO 2020.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic striking the Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur have time to get the 26-year-old fit. According to recent reports, Harry Kane is all set to return to the training ground.
Spurs would be happy as Kane was enjoying another successful season in front of goal in the present campaign. The striker has scored 11 goals in the Premier League this season and is still the top goalscorer for the north London outfit despite missing a large chunk of the campaign.
If Kane can maintain his goalscoring touch upon his return, Tottenham Hotspur can finish in the top four if and when the season resumes.
#2 Presence of Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho was appointed by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy in November last year after the club sacked Mauricio Pochettino. It was a strategic move to get the Portuguese tactician on board as the other top four contenders have relatively less experienced managers.
Mourinho has to face challenges from the likes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Frank Lampard, Espirito Nuno Santo, Mikel Arteta and Chris Wilder.
Wilder is managing for the first time in the top-tier, while Solskjaer and Lampard are yet to complete a full season as a manager in the Premier League. The Arsenal job is Arteta’s first managerial assignment and although Santo is a brilliant manager, he is not as experienced as Mourinho.
Mourinho possesses the experience of steering his teams away from difficult situations and it could come in handy for Spurs, with the top four race expected to go down right to the wire.
#3 January Transfers
Several Premier League clubs splashed the cash in the January transfer window and Tottenham Hotspur were no exceptions as Daniel Levy signed Steven Bergwijn, Gedson Fernandes and Giovani Lo Celso.
On the other hand, Christian Eriksen was shipped off to Inter Milan and Danny Rose was loaned out to Newcastle United. These transfers might have restored the harmony in the Tottenham dressing room which was absent for a while.
Fernandes and Lo Celso are expected to strengthen Spurs’ midfield while Bergwijn was brought in as a reinforcement for the injured Harry Kane.
But does these transfers guarantee Tottenham Hotspur a top-four finish? Jose Mourinho might have signed the perfect players to get the north London outfit over the line in the race for Champions League football next season.
On the other hand, Chelsea failed to woo any player to Stamford Bridge and while Manchester United did manage to sign Bruno Fernandes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his own set of problems to deal with as the likes of Andreas Periera and Jesse Lingard have failed to perform consistently.
With Mourinho’s experience of etching out results, Spurs have a real chance of finishing in the top four if and when the season resumes.
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