Tottenham Hotspur are "inches" away from winning the Premier League but need "one or two" new signings to end their wait for a top flight title, according to midfielder Dele Alli. Mauricio Pochettino's side have challenged in each of the last two seasons, but finished seven points behind champions Chelsea last term as they came up short again.
Despite Pochettino's team scoring more goals than any side in the top flight last term, and having the meanest defence, it wasn't enough as their west London rivals romped to the title in Antonio Conte's maiden campaign. Competition for the championship and a top four place is set to be as fierce in the new season, with many of Spurs' rivals having improved their squad in the summer transfer window.
The Tottenham boss has warned the club could fall behind their competitors this season with the club having yet to make a signing in the off-season - the only side not to in the top four divisions in England. Pochettino believes his team are already behind their closest competitors and Alli says a handful of new players are needed to sustain their challenge at the Premier League summit.
"I think we're inches away from it," he told GQ magazine. "Maybe another player or two players is all we need."
Speculation involving Tottenham in the transfer window has been sparse, with the saga surrounding Ross Barkley the central narrative of the summer. The Everton midfielder is certain to leave Goodison Park but both clubs are yet to agree a fee with the pair having differing valuations of the England international.
Otherwise, Tottenham's name has seldom been linked with high profile players despite qualifying for the Champions League for a second consecutive season. The club have been able to keep Eric Dier from a Manchester United move and though Kyle Walker has joined Manchester City they have been largely successful in keeping the core of their thriving squad together.
Former director of football Damien Comolli sympathises with Pochettino's task of improving his squad and believes such is the talent already available to him it is "impossible" to make the team stronger.
"I think Tottenham deserve so much respect for what they've achieved," Comolli told talkSPORT. "Daniel Levy and Mauricio Pochettino are working with less money than everybody else and working on a lot smaller wage bill than any of the Premier League's top five - we need to give them some credit.
"I'm sure they know exactly where they're going [in the transfer market]. The thing with Tottenham which is extremely difficult for them to deal with and is probably very frustrating, is that if you take that first XI, it's so difficult to make it better because every player is fantastic, every player is young.
"There's was the second youngest team in Europe among the top five teams last season and yet they finished second in the Premier League which is the most competitive league. So to reinforce that team with players who are as good or better than those players, and as young too, it's almost an impossible task."