Gareth Bale
Tottenham's biggest challenge is holding onto Gareth Bale. (Reuters)

Last season

Premier League: 5th

Europa League: Quarter-Final

FA Cup: Fourth Round

League Cup: Fourth Round

Top Scorer: Gareth Bale (26)

Summer work

Ignoring the huge white elephant in the room that is the future of Gareth Bale, Tottenham have spent efficiently despite lacking the incentive of being able to offer Champions League football. In Roberto Soldado the club have signed one of La Liga's most consistent goal scorers who has only been outscored by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the last four years. With box-to-box midfielder Paulinho enlisted, Andre Villas-Boas is inundated with talented midfield options, an area of his team that looks in the strongest shape. Belgian international Nacer Chadli offers greater depth in wide positions, something that could prove to be vital should the club's talismanic Welshman leave.

Clint Dempsey has left the club after just one season with Emmanuel Adebayor likely to join him after his woeful campaign last season, but the sale of youth product Steven Caulker to Cardiff City has raised some eyebrows, given the less than convincing injury records of Micahel Dawson and Younes Kaboul.

Manager - Andre Villas-Boas

Last season Villas-Boas admitted he had made some mistakes during his maiden season in English football across the capital with Chelsea. But the 35-year-old has taken to life in north London with aplomb and after another transfer window where he has invested in players capable of effectively operating in his preferred 4-3-3 formation, the Portuguese's managerial prowess will become more evident this campaign.

Key Player - Gareth Bale

While the new arrivals at White Hart Lane look promising, the club must remain determined to hold onto Bale. Even if the Welshman fetches a world record fee for his services, the calibre of player the club can attract at this stage of the summer remains to be seen. Ensuring Bale remains even if it is just for one more season is will be hugely significant to the club's European hopes and should his proposed move to Real Madrid go through, Roberto Soldado will have little choice to hit the ground running to replace the Welshman's goals.


After another near miss last season, a top four finish must be a priority. The club's worrying trend of capitulating in the final third of the season must be rectified, and whether that can be achieved could rest on whether Bale remains at White Hart Lane. Should the Welshman stay with the club boosted by three stellar signings then Spurs can possibly begin to contemplate life as north London's ruling club.


Another duel with Arsenal for that coveted fourth spot, but one with a similar outcome. 5<sup>th