Opinion: Spurs’ sluggish transfer window and Wolves winger chase could have big repercussions

The north London side have a fantastic chance to return to the Champions League next season - and push for success - and market moves this month could be pivotal.

Does anybody wish to grab fourth spot in the Premier League this season?

With most onlookers believing that the best three teams in England’s top tier are Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea - and it increasingly looks to be in that order - the fourth spot for Champions League qualification looks open.

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With Manchester United throwing away a two-goal lead and Leeds United winning at West Ham on Saturday and Sunday, the major winners in the last few days may have been the rejuvenated Arsenal and Tottenham Hospur.

The hunt for fourth will be closely contested.

As happens in the championship most seasons, there may yet be a side to emerge from the pack to go on a run and clinch an unlikely seat at the table of elite European club competition.

Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa, anyone? Even Wolves?

One goal can change a game, and the Premier League placings come May could be decided by such fine degrees.

Which is why clubs should be looking at January to make the difference and give them that vital advantage.

Obviously it can be tough to persuade a rival to sell a key player, but if an opportunity arises, Antonio Conte’s side must grab it.

Failure could have big consequences down the line.

Will Conte and star man Harry Kane be content with a Europa League placing in 2022/23?

They may not have any choice, as both will be contracted for another year and two more respectively.

But making it to the Champions League again could really propel the Lilywhites forward.

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur during the Carabao Cup Semi Final (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

With Manchester United looking unstable and results affected, and West Ham still involved in a sapping European competition, either Arsenal or Spurs could or even should finish fourth.

Currently, the respected FiveThirtyEight website predicts a 41% chance that the Gunners make the UCL, and a 34% chance for Spurs.

Those percentages might flip if Spurs were to beat Arsenal at home whenever the north London derby is played.

Tottenham can improve their chances by improving their squad.

The chase for Wolves winger Traore rumbles on and as Spurs fans know all too well, the London side rarely ever do business at the start of the transfer window, more often doing reactionary business later in the day.

It’s without doubt due to finances, as swapping players in and out before Spurs play Leicester City next on Wednesday January 19, in what could be an important fixture for Kane and co, would make far more sense than to wait a week later.

And to Levy’s credit, Tottenham have some of the best infrastructure in world football and are well run financially.

Tottenham Hotspur are continuing their long time pursuit of Wolves' winger Adama Traore this month with Joe Rodon, Japhet Tanganga, Ryan Sessegnon and Jack Clarke amongst the players that have been offered as part of a potential deal (Team Talk)

Indeed Spurs are estimated to have wiggle room of £400m before they would come up against Uefa’s FFP rules.

With the club now looking to match their business off the pitch with a successful team on the grass, this season could be a good barometer of how that is going.

If Arsenal take fourth spot it would likely see Mikel Arteta’s young side improve further and strengthen them in the transfer market, and perhaps a deal for the coveted Dusan Vlahovic would be tied up.

But if Spurs make it then they likely hold back their neighbours and possibly grab Vlahovic themselves, with plenty of sources suggesting that Tottenham are expected to invest in their squad in the next transfer window rather than this one.

In short, affected by Covid, money is in short supply in N17.

But a small outlay now, and wrapping a move up for Traore sooner rather than later could help yield big results come next summer.

At least the club could say they went for it.

Take Aston Villa’s recent proactive transfer business: Philippe Coutinho made an instant impact at the weekend, and supporter belief and excitement has been heightened.

Something for the Tottenham Hotspur board - and likely Daniel Levy - to consider as they weigh up decisions this week.

Not only would restless head coach Conte be placated and the playing squad galvanised by the ambition shown, but fans too.

The media could then stop asking the Italian the same questions every week.

It all feeds in to the same thing.

Be decisive, pay a modest fee, recover it in a few months if needed.

That feelgood factor could be the spark to light up the chase for the top four and longer term hopes of silverware.

Spurs supporters will know where to look if the galling opposite, Arteta’s side clinching that Champions League place, comes to pass.