A new Premier League season is just around the corner and with three weeks of this current transfer window remaining, the race is on for the likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Dean Smith to conclude their summer business.
These two men will be squaring off on the opening weekend and on the face of it, it’s fair to say that the latter has been more successful in the transfer market. However, that does come with the rationale, that Aston Villa arguably have had the more work to do.
That’s because after gaining promotion via the Championship play-off final, the work almost started straight away for the West Midlands outfit, as they looked to build a squad that was ready to compete in the Premier League.
At the same time that’s not to say that Tottenham have not been active this summer and although Jack Clarke has been loaned back to Leeds United for the season, there has been much heralding in regard to the arrival of French international Tanguy Ndombele.
His signature has meant Tottenham breaking their club record transfer fee in order to land the former Lyon midfielder and much will be expected of the 22-year-old, especially as he was chased by a number of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Ndombele will slot into the central midfield with compatriot Moussa Sissoko, as Tottenham look for a French connection in the centre of the park, something that along with their nine teammates could take shape like this:
In terms of attacking personnel, not much has changed for Tottenham – although that does come with the caveat that Christian Eriksen is still at the club by the time the first ball of the season is kicked in early August.
Should he switch Tottenham for the sunnier climbs of Madrid, then Champions League semi-final hero Lucas Moura, could just as easily fill the void that would then be left by the Danish international’s departure.
There has however been one relatively major departure and one that sees Kieran Trippier leaving the club, he himself has moved to Madrid and with the England international now working under Diego Simeone at Atletico, it means Serge Aurier is ready to make the right back berth his own.
While the same could be said at left back for Ben Davies, with Danny Rose not going to Singapore for Tottenham’s pre-season tour, much has been mentioned regarding his future and it could well be that he is plying his trade for PSG come the start of the upcoming Ligue 1 campaign.
This means that the Welsh international Davies, is for all intents and purposes Tottenham’s sole left back at the time of writing and although the club have been linked with a move for Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon, it looks as if Davies will be patrolling the left side of defence against Aston Villa.
Tottenham’s central defensive partnership is also one that comes with an asterix and that is whether anyone activates the £25m clause that is currently attached to Toby Alderweireld, although with time running out, it could well be that this upcoming season is the Belgian’s last in North London.
His eventual departure will be a bitter pill to swallow, but at the same time the fact that he has not been sold and may still yet sign a new contract, will give fans a reason to be optimistic over the next few months and they will hope that he eventually puts pen to paper.
Should no-one swoop in to sign the 30-year-old defender, then it will be he that is installed alongside international teammate Jan Vertonghen and if he does move on to pastures new, then the defensive berth will be filled by Colombia’s Davinson Sanchez.
That’s a look at how Tottenham could set their stall out, now let’s take a look at their opening weekend opposition Aston Villa:
As mentioned above Dean Smith has been busy this summer and it will mean that the starting eleven that helped Villa get the better of Derby in the play-off final, is not necessarily the one that takes to the field against Tottenham.
In defence Matt Targett has joined from Southampton and should be in line to get the nod ahead of fellow left back Neil Taylor, while Tyrone Mings who did feature at Wembley, has made his loan move from Bournemouth permanent and will look to play at centre back once more.
The question though is just who will partner alongside him, as Dean Smith now has a number of options at his disposal and it could also be another loan signing turned permanent that plays alongside Mings, one that comes in the shape of Kourtney Hause.
Hause played the second half of last season at Villa Park while on loan from Wolves and there was little time wasted once promotion was clinched, in then making sure that the 24-year-old would be staying on a long term basis.
However, if it is not Hause who gets the nod then it might be one of the two other centre backs that have been signed this summer and both Bjorn Engels and Ezri Konsa will be hoping to be included in the matchday squad.
In midfield there is little reason to suggest that the trio that helped Villa earn promotion back in May will be any different and that means Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane and John McGinn will once again assume their positions.
While in attack, things will look different after some new arrivals, none more so than the signing of centre forward Wesley from Belgian outfit Club Brugge for a fee of £22m and the Brazilian looks set to be thrust straight into the attack against Tottenham.
This means that there are just the wide forwards left to deploy and the most likely combination will be the threat of Jota who joins from Brentford and Anwar El Ghazi who again adds to the loanee turned permanent contingent after completing his move from Lille.
These formations should give you a rough idea of how Tottenham and Aston Villa will setup come August 10th and although both teams will still look for a new face or two before then, not much if at all should differ from the lineups that you see above.