Tottenham are a club at a crossroads. Antonio Conte could be on the way out -- and he's openly throwing barbs at his players, and it's yet another summer ahead for the club without a clear direction for how they'll move forward. Spurs did rebound against Nottingham Forest on Saturday with Harry Kane scoring two goals, but that doesn't change the overall outlook of a team that has struggled when it matters most.
If the club would like to fund a rebuild, they do have quite an asset that can be moved in the form of Kane. Manchester United are reportedly interested in the forward who has scored 15 or more league goals for nine consecutive seasons but for Tottenham. On the other hand, Spurs are reportedly committed to extending Kane and keeping the iconic striker in North London for the foreseeable future. But, is that the best idea or does it make sense to move on from a club legend as the club looks to start a new chapter?
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Tottenham all-time top scorers (all competitions)
Heading into this season, hope was in the air that this would be the year that Conte led the club to the promised land bringing in their first trophy since winning the League Cup in 2008. But as the season went on, and the club lost winnable matches left and right, they've found themselves dropping out of every completion while now also being 18 points behind Arsenal for first place in the league, it's time to examine what the vision for the club is.
They'd certainly be worse off without Kane as his 20 goals and four assists have been propping up a mediocre attack but even he has struggled when it mattered most. In Champions League, Kane only scored once, going scoreless in four consecutive games which could've seen the team have much different fortunes. Part of that struggle is due to a decline from his strike partner Heung-Min Son and the injury to Rodrigo Bentancur, but overall, the window for contention for the Spurs core is closing.
Son is 30, Kane is 29, and club captain Hugo Lloris is 36. That trio has brought a lot of joy to the club but even at their peaks, they've yet to deliver a trophy and even if Spurs were to bring back Mauricio Pochettino, whose first stint managing the club led to all their success, it won't change that fundamentally those three have more days in decline than at their peak ahead of them. Tottenham has signed players who are good on paper like Cristian Romero and Pedro Porro lately, but when they've hit the pitch, they haven't performed because the club is lacking an identity.
With the path from the academy that helped produce Kane drying up, the quickest way to kickstart things is with a cash injection similar to another crossroad that the club has navigated before with Gareth Bale. Selling Kane to Manchester United would hurt, heck, it would even make United title contenders considering the partnership that Kane would form with Marcus Rashford but if the club can get eye-watering numbers like €100 million for a 29-year-old striker they should take the money and run.
Harry Kane's goals and assists for Spurs
By now, Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, might be regretting not selling Kane to Manchester City when he had the chance last summer, at the time, he could've been replaced by a striker like Alexander Isak, but now not only will the fee offered to the club be lower, forwards are going to be at a premium with Jonathan David, Randal Kolo Muani, and Victor Osimhen's prices rising by the day. For Osimhen, he would have a better chance of winning trophies with Napoli than the current version of Spurs, a team currently in an aimless no-man's-land, without a direction, having gone through three managers since moving on from Pochettino with nothing to show for it.
Another manager will likely come in the summer when Conte doesn't renew his contract but with that manager, a club culture will need to be established. Moving on from Kane is the easiest way to invest funds in the attack while helping rebuild the club. but that could also come with the club missing out on European soccer for a year or two. Though, that's not even a guarantee this season as they fight for fourth with Kane. This isn't where Spurs expected to be after opening a state of the art stadium but when the biggest events hosted in it have been concerts and NFL matches, something needs to change.
Part of that includes hiring a progressive manager for what they can do for the club. After going through both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, calling Thomas Tuchel to see if he'd come next would only paper over the issues as Spurs aren't a team that is one or even two pieces away from winning. It took years for "Mauricio Pochettino, he's magic you know" to ring out around White Hart Lane with him trusting academy products like Kane and making shrewd transfer additions. While the club is in a different place now, that magic can be recaptured with the right moves during the summer.