Tottenham Hotspur’s transfer policy has come in for criticism in recent days, with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte questioning their expectations.

But, ultimately, their strategy has worked extremely well over the last few seasons and there doesn’t appear to be a need to change it.

When analysing a club’s investment in their playing squad, quality is a far more important factor than quantity. So while the rest of the Premier League’s top six may spend more extravagantly than Spurs, that doesn’t necessarily mean their line-ups are in better shape.

What Tottenham have done particularly well since Mauricio Pochettino took charge is focus on the longer term.

Continuity and cohesion are fundamental to their progress, something evidenced this summer through the extension of Kieran Trippier’s contract days after Kyle Walker’s departure for Manchester City was completed.

Given they have yet to sign anyone this summer, this focus looks likely to continue going into 2017/18.

But, despite the lack of signings and the hefty sums of money being thrown around by rivals, it is possible to argue that Spurs have the best line-up in the Premier League at present.


How Could Tottenham Hotspur Line Up In 2017/18… by FootballWhispers

DEFENCE

Generally speaking, behind every great defence is a great goalkeeper. Tottenham’s defence is exceptional, and that is in no small part thanks to Hugo Lloris – one of the world’s finest shot-stoppers.

Last season, Pochettino’s side had the best defensive record in the Premier League by quite some distance, conceding just 26 goals in 38 games. The only team to get near them in this respect was Manchester United, who let in 29.

It could be argued, however, that United’s defensive record was because of reactive, stifling tactics built on numbers and layers as opposed to pure collective organisation.

Tottenham’s back line may have been temporarily depleted by the sale of Walker to Manchester City, who – along with the purchase of Benjamin Mendy from Monaco – now have the most enticing full-back pairing in the league.

For sheer individual quality in this specific area, Pep Guardiola’s men are perhaps challenged only by Arsenal, who have added Sead Kolasinac to start on the opposite flank to Hector Bellerin.

Spurs’ combination of Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose isn’t too dissimilar to Chelsea’s duet of Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso in that it combines the adapted and the underrated to form a surprisingly effective pairing.

Interestingly, Tottenham’s pair together averaged more tackles per game than Chelsea’s last season (4.2 to 3.3), as well as more key passes (2.6 to 1.6). However, they completed comparatively fewer dribbles per game.

The centre of defence is where Spurs’ true strength lies, though.

Pochettino flitted between a back three and a back four last season, bringing Eric Dier deeper on occasion to partner Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. On their own, the Belgian duet are one of the most solid centre-back partnerships in Europe.

Do Tottenham Have The Best Line-Up In The Premier League?

As far as the Premier League goes, only Chelsea’s central defenders can challenge the Alderweireld/Vertonghen supremacy for consistency, though it could be argued that none of David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger or Cesar Azpilicueta would make it into Pochettino’s line-up, at least in a back four.

MIDFIELD

There are very few central midfield combinations in England at a higher level than Tottenham’s trident of Dier, Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele. The former two are solid defensive protectors, while the latter is a beautiful concoction of technique and power.

Not only are they highly resistant to pressure thanks to their physicality, passing and intelligence, but they are energetic, intense pressers in the defensive phase.

Manchester United’s pairing of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba may not have worked quite so well without the backing of experienced pivot Michael Carrick behind them in a three, but as a two they are individually the most talented central midfield pairing the Premier League has to offer.

Indeed, together they trump Tottenham’s preferred combination of Dier and Wanyama per game based on tackles (4.5 to 3.8), interceptions (3.6 to 2.1), key passes (3.1 to 1.3) and completed dribbles (3.4 to 1.5).

ATTACK

Just like their defence, Tottenham’s attack was the best in the Premier League last season in terms of goals scored. However, unlike their defence, their attack remains unchanged going – as it stands – going into 2017/18.

The trio of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min provide a potent blend of clever movement, intricate and penetrative passing, clinical finishing and raw pace.

Each individual within the group possesses a unique profile, and together it works a treat to supply lone striker Harry Kane.

The Chelsea duo of Eden Hazard and Pedro is the only attacking midfield combination to rival Tottenham’s, but they cannot compete when it comes to the centre-forward position.

The English champions’ new hitman, Alvaro Morata, may have enjoyed his best season to date with Real Madrid last term, but he could not rival Spurs’ frontman statistically.

Kane bested him in per game terms of shots attempted, key passes made, dribbles completed, as well as in total goals and assists.

Signings or no signings the reality is that, with the best defence and attack, as well as a solid midfield only Manchester United and perhaps Chelsea can better, Tottenham’s starting line-up is just as strong as, if not stronger than, any team in the Premier League.

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