With the majority of the starting eleven missing out on the International Champions Cup due to late returns from the World Cup, opportunities were presented to many who may not have had a chance. The absences of Harry Kane and Dele Alli gave fringe contenders Lucas Moura, Fernando Llorente and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou increased game time. The lack of central midfielders available also allowed Luke Amos and Oliver Skipp to gain some invaluable experience.
Tottenham’s International Champions Cup Experience
Despite the abundance of missing players, Tottenham were very successful in their three matches. A 2-2 draw with Barcelona (which Tottenham lost on penalties) was sandwiched by an emphatic 4-1 win over Roma and a 1-0 win over AC Milan. Despite the number of absentees, Tottenham can still take a lot from their International Champions Cup campaign.
Tottenham Have a Player in Oliver Skipp
Oliver Skipp may be a new name to many at Tottenham. The 17-year-old central midfielder has played much of his game time in the Spurs U18’s. Skipp made two substitute appearances against Roma and Barcelona, before starting against AC Milan. Described as an ‘all-round midfielder’ by Christian Eriksen, Skipp showed he was calm on the ball, coming back deep to collect the ball before moving it on. The youngster also showed he wasn’t afraid to make a challenge, nor was he afraid to get forward and take players on. At the tender age of 17, Skipp looks to have a big future in front of him.
Luke Amos Starts Every Game of International Champions Cup
Luke Amos was another central midfielder to benefit from the number of absences throughout the competition. Amos started every game, leading to speculation he may be involved in the Premier League opener against Newcastle. The 21-year-old central midfielder looked composed and comfortable on the ball. His 16 league appearances whilst on loan at Stevenage last season look to have benefited him immensely. Moussa Dembele and Eric Dier are set to return to pre-season next week, however.
Tottenham are also hopeful the injury to Moussa Sissoko is nothing serious. Further injuries to Winks and Wanyama are currently keeping Amos in the picture. However, he might need a loan move to see a lot of first-team football next season.
Lucas Moura Looks Sharp and Ready to Go
Lucas particularly impressed in the 4-1 win against Roma. Two goals and an assist had the fans excited for what might be yet to come this season. Lucas has now had half a season as well as a full pre-season to settle into life in England.
The Brazilian winger has proven quality at the top level, featuring regularly for Paris Saint-Germain both in the league and Champions League. Tottenham hope Lucas will make a big impact this season, with his pace and dribbling ability something Tottenham missed at times last season.
Georges-Kevin N’Koudou May Have a Role to Play This Season
Nkoudou’s loan move to Burnley, which occurred after a disappointing lack of an impact made by the winger, was probably the end of his Spurs career in the eyes of many. It would shock none to see N’Koudou moved on, howev,er he certainly did himself no harm with his performances against Barcelona and AC Milan.
N’Koudou was alert to volley home an equaliser against Barcelona after some very questionable defending. Another defensive lapse handed N’Koudou an opportunity against AC Milan, which he grabbed with both hands, with an emphatic left foot effort into the top corner. Whilst it would remain a surprise to see N’Koudou in the first eleven this season, the winger provided a reminder of what he has to offer, either to Tottenham or a potential buyer.
Signings are Needed if Tottenham are Aiming to Seriously Compete
Without the aid of an extended list of key players, Tottenham’s International Champions Cup campaign was undeniably successful. However, the lack of options in central midfield heading into the start of the season is worrying. Questions remain over the future of Moussa Dembele, who’s ability to regularly play 90 minutes is unfortunately subsiding.
Moussa Sissoko is also regarded by many as short of the required standard to compete at the top level. Additionally, long term injuries to Winks and Wanyama have left options very short. Whilst young midfielders Skipp and Amos impressed, they are arguably not yet ready for top level football. Fernando Llorente, despite grabbing two goals against Roma, is still not the ideal back up to Harry Kane. One of Wilfried Zaha or Anthony Martial would be an ideal signing, who could compete for a place on the wing, as well as provide back up to Harry Kane.