Tottenham Hotspur's title aspirations may have fizzled out already, but there remains plenty for Mauricio Pochettino's side to play for. They are within touching distance of the top four – a finish that must now be regarded as the minimum requirement this season – while they remain many people's dark horses in the Champions League.

But how Pochettino uses the January window to assist Spurs' attempts to end the campaign on a high is less certain. The Argentine coach is famously frugal in the transfer window and in the summer opted to wait until the final week of trading to complete all five of his new additions.

It is a great tribute to the depth Pochettino has built that there are few, if any, areas of weakness in the current Tottenham squad, and he will be hard pressed to improve the first team significantly. Signing players with the capacity to turn around a top four tilt or a Champions League challenge is inevitably fraught with problems during such a short period too.

The former Southampton boss has himself already indicated that any deals might be with a view for next season rather than this, in an attempt to get a jump start on their rivals from Manchester and the other parts of London. Indeed, they could very much end the window much how we find them.

What they need

It is difficult to pick holes in a team that has beaten Liverpool and Real Madrid already this season. Hugo Lloris has shown himself to be fallible at times, particularly over the Christmas period; Tottenham don't look the same at the back without Toby Alderweireld; Mousa Dembele's long-term fitness remains a concern; while the onus on Harry Kane remains.

The reality, however, is Spurs have cover in all these areas. Pochettino might see it fit to bring back a few loan players in the form of Josh Onomah and Cameron Carter-Vickers to take the pressure of his first-team regulars. The priority is probably at left-back, where Danny Rose's days in north London are surely numbered.

Who could join

Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon has for some months been touted as the successor to Rose at both club and international level and appears to be the number-one choice as far as Tottenham are concerned. Slavisa Jokanovic does not want to lose the 17-year-old but should an offer include a loan back option for the rest of this term the Whites' hand could be forced.

Luke Shaw has also been mentioned as a possible target, but coupled with a run in the Manchester United first team, it would surely need Rose to move in the other direction for any move to materialise.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace continue to deny suggestions Wilfried Zaha could leave them for a second time, with Spurs having failed with a summer pursuit, while Ross Barkley is again become available – but Chelsea's interest could prove to be key.

Who could leave

Rose's ill-timed knee injury may have curtailed any hope of him moving to Manchester yet, amid rumours of a £50m move to either United or City. Yet, he remains the only high-profile player seemingly unhappy with life at Tottenham.

Vincent Janssen moved to Fenerbahce on loan in the summer and a deal to take him to Turkey could become permanent, with his days in England all but over.

Peripheral first team players could yet be offered chances to reignite their careers with the likes of Georges-Kevin N'Koudou, Juan Foyth, Alfie Whiteman, Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Luke Amos among those who may leave on loan. Connor Ogilvie's spell at Gillingham may be extended.

What the manager has said

"Maybe we need to sign players in January and bring them in six months before," Pochettino said last month. "If not, we're going to compete in the same period as City, United, Liverpool and Chelsea, we're going to struggle to bring in the players we want.

"Like always, it's so difficult to find the right profile to add in January, who can change and help you achieve what you want. To be more realistic, it's so important today to identify your targets for next summer. If not, if we wait until May and before signing [players] we sell. It's so difficult to bring in players that can help."

Ryan Sessegnon
Sessegnon could be playing in a different shade of white come the end of the month. Getty Images