Everyone knew it was going to happen, it was just a matter of time. But then it didn’t. The Saido Berahino saga concluded on deadline with the West Brom striker sharing his dismay with his Twitter followers at not being allowed to leave the club to move on to pastures new. Tottenham was set to be his destination and it typical Daniel Levy style it was left to the last few hours of the window. Tony Pulis looked all for the deal, but chairman Jeremy Peace was having none of it, and it was notable that the young striker singled him out as the root of his anger.
The Baggies are believed to have rejected a final bid of £23m, leaving the Black Country outfit with a player on a supposed strike and Tottenham with a gaping hole in their squad. It’s pretty difficult to see who the winner is here.
However, the major loser in this situation is Spurs. It was a pretty torrid last couple of days in the window for the north Londoners. It all seemed to be looking up when they secured Son Heung-min from Bayer Leverkusen to give Harry Kane some much-needed assistance up front. Nevertheless, one attacking addition was by no means enough.
Mauricio Pochettino had his heart set on bring Berahino to White Hart Lane, so much so that it seems like he had very few, if any back-up targets to turn to. The Argentine manager was so taken by the Burndi-born hitman that he compared the pursuit to that of chasing a woman: "It's like when you are in love with some lady," Pochettino said. "There are a lot of women around the world, but you want only one. Sometimes it is impossible. It's about love. And in football it is the same."
It was an affair that left all parties broken hearted, but for Tottenham fans there needs to be answers. Their failings in the transfer market were amplified after the departure of Gareth Bale in 2013, when the club spent the money on a vast amount of players with only Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli having any real impact. Things appeared different this summer. Shrewd defensive additions came in the shape of Kevin Wimmer, Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld but you can’t help but thing that they have been left short in other areas of the pitch.
Clinton N’Jie joined from Lyon and he will add some much-needed pace to an, at times, pedestrian attack. But he is a player who needs to operate alongside another forward. In France he played in a front two and tended to drift wide. At Spurs he is most likely to operate as a winger, as Pochettino prefers to use Harry Kane as a sole forward man. N’Jie will be expected to lay on assists for the England striker – he got 10 in Ligue 1 last year- but with Kane struggling for goals, that may be a problem.
The academy graduate’s confidence looks shot at present. He has yet to score a goal this season and his displays so far were summed up by his tame finish when presented with a one-on-one opportunity against Everton. Kane desperately needs a goal. He needs one to go in off his backside or get a wicked deflection. But what if that doesn’t happen?
What if Kane doesn’t score the 20 goals he did last season? Spurs are left with, until January at least, two new signings who have never played in the Premier and are not genuine number nines. Now, it can be argued that Berahino is no centre forward, but the Throstles striker played the lone role admirably at times in the previous campaign, as well as playing both out wide and in behind.
If you throw in the failure to acquire a holding midfielder to tighten things up in the middle, then Tottenham look in real trouble. Moves were allegedly made for Axel Witsel, whilst enquiries were supposedly made about Cheick Tiote, a particularly desperate foray.
Levy and Pochettino’s inadequacies in this window could leave the Lilywhites with little hope of making the top six, let alone the top four come January.