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Preseason Review: Tottenham Hotspur

Pochettino-spursAt long last, the phoney war is over. Let’s get on with the real business.

The new Premier League season gets underway on Saturday and those expected to challenge for the title have completed their pre-season preparations, if not quite all of their transfer dealings.

Ahead of the big kick-off, here is a look at what Spurs have done this preseason.

What’s gone right?
Pre-season is all about finding out what your strongest side is and Mauricio Pochettino will have a clear idea following Friday’s really impressive 6-1 rout of Inter Milan. Key players including Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Toby Alderweireld all looked really sharp, with plenty of goals being scored and the only injury worry is Jan Vertonghen. Vincent Janssen, the headline summer arrival for £18.5m from AZ Alkmaar, is bedding in and they look ready to hit the ground running at Everton on Saturday.

What needs work?
Pochettino could well dive back into the transfer market following just the two arrivals – Janssen and Victor Wanyama – to provide further cover ahead of what will be a demanding campaign in the Premier League, Champions League and cup competitions.

Pre-season results
The long-haul tour to Australia led to narrow defeats against Juventus and Atletico Madrid that suggested faults at the back would have to be addressed. But any pessimism was blown out of the water with that 6-1 rout of Inter Milan the other night and the season will be approached in the right frame of mind as Spurs hope to push on from last season.

Transfer business
The only arrivals so far are Janssen and Wanyama, signed from Southampton for £11m in what has been a pretty quiet summer. Though that is to be expected considering the massive outlay on redeveloping White Hart Lane going on at the moment. The £10.9m transfer of Georges-Kevin N’Koudou from Marseille seems to have stalled amid a power shift behind the scenes at the French club.

Standout star
Erik Lamela has been sharp in front of goal throughout pre-season and he capped a string of impressive performances with a very impressive strike against Inter. After three years with the club, he may be about to take the next step and become an indispensable part of the Spurs side.

July 26 – 1-2 v Juventus
July 29 – 0-1 v Atletico Madrid
August 5 – 6-1 v Inter Milan