Pundit makes big Tottenham call but West Ham, Arsenal fans won’t be cheering
Former Chelsea and Scotland star Craig Burley feels the January signings made by Tottenham will see them finish in the top four above two London rivals.
Spurs left it late in the transfer window but managed to acquire Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur – both from Juventus. Kulusevski, 21, has penned an 18-month loan deal with an option to buy. The north Londoners paid around £16m for 24-year-old Bentancur, with the midfielder inking a three-and-a-half year contract.
Antonio Conte also jettisoned a number of players to reduce his squad. Dele Alli’s move to Everton ended a tortuous period for the England schemer.
Giovani Lo Celso was loaned to Villarreal while Bryan Gil left for a loan spell at Valencia. Lyon took Tanguy Ndombele on loan while Nile John, Jack Clarke, Dilan Markanday and Kion Etete all departed.
It ended up being a successful window for Spurs despite losing out on the likes of Adama Traore and Luis Diaz. It sets them up nicely for the second half of the campaign.
Conte’s side currently sit seventh in the table, with 36 points from 20 games played. Arsenal are one spot above on the same number of points but having played a game more.
West Ham sit fifth with 37 points but have already played 23 matches. Manchester United occupy the coveted fourth Champions League spot having taken 38 points from 22 outings.
Burley fancies Tottenham chances
There is realistically only one place in the top four up for grabs with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea streets ahead. And Burley believes the Lilywhites’ recruitment means they now have the edge over their rivals.
Arsenal savings on Auba will enable a huge summer
They may have lost out big for now, but in the long run, Arsenal may have set themselves up for success.
“They’ve got a better chance of top four,” he told ESPN FC on BT Sport. “I’m going to say, yes-ish.
“Manchester United worry me, I think West Ham will fall away, Arsenal are there or thereabouts.
“These two give Conte some extra bodies, some more experience, some more pieces to the jigsaw. They have a much better chance.”
Spurs have just the Premier League and FA Cup to think of after crashing out of the Europa Conference League. The Gunners’ focus is purely on the league after they were humbled 1-0 by Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round.
The Hammers are still in the FA Cup and also the Europa League after breezing into the knockout phase as group winners. Eighth-place Wolves might also have a say in top-four proceedings as they are just four points adrift of the Red Devils.
Bruno Lage’s men are in red-hot form having won four and drawn one of their past five games.
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