Two seasons in a row now, Tottenham Hotspur has been the only club to come close to challenging for the Premier League title in any month that comes after February.
Most impressively, Tottenham have done it with a squad of players that’s A) the youngest in the PL (average age: 25.7 — nearly a full year younger than Liverpool, the PL’s second-youngest squad), and B) heavily reliant upon a core of English players (five of 11 first-choice starters — four of whom made their England debut since Mauricio Pochettino took over at White Hart Lane).
With success — make no doubt about it, what Spurs have done under Pochettino has been a major success, trophies or no trophies — comes recognition. With recognition comes interest from any number of “bigger” clubs from all around Europe. While the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid may be interested in the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Toby Aldeweireld and Kyle Walker, Spurs won’t be forced into any sales that weaken the first-team squad — quotes from the BBC:
“The players we want to keep will be here next season. If any players leave, it’s Tottenham’s decision.”
“I think we are so, so, so calm about our big players and they are so happy here. We are building a very exciting project. The players must feel they are part of us and want to share in our success.”
On the other end of the transfer market, there won’t be any shortage of players lining up to sign for Spurs this summer. With one or two key additions to the squad another title challenge looks to be no the cards, in the event of a serious uptick in results at Wembley Stadium, of course.
As for Kane, who bagged four goals on Thursday to take total control on the 2016-17 Golden Boot race, Pochettino remains convinced (with evidence spewing out of his eyes, ears and nose) that the 23-year-old academy product ascended to world-class heights long ago:
“Harry Kane’s a special player, he loves Tottenham.”
“Harry Kane means a lot for the team. I tell you always that he’s one of the best strikers in the world. His performances show that we are right.”
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Typically quick to praise his teammates and place team success above his own statistics and accolades, Kane was rightly beaming after his four-goal performance and basking in the possibilities of winning his second straight Golden Boot:
“It is the first time in my professional career that I’ve scored four. There has been a bit of build-up in the race for the Golden Boot and I wanted at least one or two to put the pressure on, but to get four is amazing.
“I think this is my best season. I missed 11 weeks and worked hard during my injury to ensure I came back in better shape than I started.”