Nuno Espirito Santo learns four Tottenham transfer lessons from Colchester win

Posted Thursday, July 22, 2021 by

Express Sport chooses four transfer lessons that new Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo can learn from his side's 3-0 victory over Colchester United.

Nuno Espirito Santo earned the first victory of his Tottenham tenure as a strong Spurs side including Heung-min Son and Dele Alli defeated Colchester United 3-0.

Son was making his first appearances of pre-season having been granted an extended summer break and made a scoring return.

The 29-year-old tapped into an empty net after Steven Bergwijn unselfishly passed across goal when put one on one with goalkeeper Shamal George.

Lucas Moura glanced in a header soon after during a first-half hammering of the League Two side.

Dele then squeezed the third over the line before Nuno made a host of changes ahead of the second half.

The new head coach started his preparations for the 2021-22 campaign with a 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient, so there might be a sense of relief that he has a first victory.

Spurs ended their chaotic search for Jose Mourinho's replacement by appointing Nuno last month, and he has several big decisions to make this summer.

Express Sport picks out four things that will help with his transfer plans.

Nuno Espirito Santo learns four Tottenham transfer lessons from Colchester win
Nuno Espirito Santo has four Tottenham transfer decisions to make (Image: GETTY)

Nuno needs to keep hold of Dele and offer him a frequent role

Dele’s stock has fallen drastically over the last two years, mostly due to a difficult relationship with Mourinho. 

The 25-year-old appeared in 51 of Mourinho’s 86 matches in charge but many of those were as a substitute. 

Paris Saint-Germain were linked with a January loan move for the England international but it failed to materialise.

Dele finally re-emerged under interim boss Ryan Mason, playing six times, and has started both of Nuno’s matches. 

The new boss has used Dele in a slightly deeper midfield role than the one in which he was once deployed so successfully by Mauricio Pochettino.

He has played well in the position in both games and appeared on the Tottenham scoresheet for the first time since scoring against Wolfsberger in February.

Oliver Skipp provides a genuine first-team option 

Aside from Son, the England U21 midfielder was the best player on the pitch in the first half. 

A wonderful 45-yard half-volleyed pass to Steven Bergwijn set up a promising attack midway through the opening period.

The 20-year-old was once the most highly rated player in the club’s academy but saw his development stall under Pochettino and then Mourinho. 

However, a successful loan season at Norwich City appears to have worked well for Skipp, who seems to more physically capable of slotting into Spurs’ midfield. 

He helped the Canaries storm the Championship last season was named in the division’s Team of the Year. 

Skipp kept possession ticking over well against Colchester and played at a good intensity.

His pre-season performance could tempt Nuno into not spending a portion of his transfer funds on a new midfielder.

Nuno Espirito Santo learns four Tottenham transfer lessons from Colchester win
Son and Dele both starred in the first half of Tottenham's friendly victory (Image: GETTY)

Tottenham need defenders

It has long been recognised that Spurs need to improve their defensive options. 

Mourinho and Mason failed to settle on a consistent centre-back pairing, with Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, Joe Rodon and Toby Alderweireld all struggling to convince that they should be regular starters. 

Nuno reportedly wants to sign Atalanta defender Cristian Romero and Bologna’s Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Dier has captained Spurs in both their friendlies but has scarcely been tested. 

He has never looked completely comfortable at centre-back in the Premier League and Tottenham fans will be worried if he begins the campaign.

Dane Scarlett can be Harry Kane’s back-up, but not his replacement

The 17-year-old sensation, who wowed Mourinho during the Portuguese’s time in charge, has had an excellent pre-season so far. He opened the scoring during the 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient and performed well in the second half of the victory over Colchester. 

Scarlett slammed home a volley soon after replacing Son at half-time and was unfortunate to turn around to see the assistant referee’s flag raised for offside. 

Tottenham striker Kane’s future is unclear but there are few clubs worldwide who can afford to finance chairman Daniel Levy’s £150m asking price and the player’s reported £200,000 per week wage. 

Kane is set for talks with both Nuno and Levy when he returns to pre-season training in early August, but it is looking increasingly likely that the 27-year-old will remain for at least another year. 

Scarlett, who bagged 17 goals in 16 games in the U18 Premier League last season, is capable of providing back-up to Kane. However, it is unlikely that he is ready to properly replace the England captain if he leaves.




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