Tottenham Hotspur Season Preview: Can Spurs bounce back from Champions League heartache?
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Tottenham Hotspur ended their 2018/19 season with heartache in Madrid. In their first-ever Champions League final, they suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Premier League rivals, Liverpool.

However, the incredible achievement to even get to that stage of Europe's most prestigious club competition shows Mauricio Pochettino's 'project' is edging closer to tangible fruition. 

Domestically, the Lilywhites secured a fourth consecutive season in the Champions League with a fourth-place finish. 

However, injuries to Harry Kane and a severe lack of transfer activity meant Pochettino's squad was down to its bare bones and only just made it over the line inside the top four.

Transfer business

Daniel Levy got Spurs off to an incredible start to the 2019 summer transfer window with a double announcement in the space of just a matter of hours.

Leeds United's young midfielder, Jack Clarke was confirmed to have joined, however, was immediately sent back to Leeds on a season-long loan. 

Just hours later, Spurs confirmed the arrival of Tanguy Ndombele from Olympique Lyonnais - a deal which would smash their transfer-record fee at £65m. 

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However, the promising start to the window quickly developed into the more traditional drawn out, frustrating lack of transfers for Spurs. 

Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen were both destined to depart but it seems both are now likely to stick with Spurs with less than one year on their contracts remaining. 

Despite being linked with Giovani Lo Celso, Paulo Dybala and Bruno Fernandes Spurs have found themselves rushing around in typical fashion to secure any signature with just a matter of days to go before the window slams shut. 

Where the season can be won or lost

As we saw last season, injury to Harry Kane proved disastrous for Tottenham's league form. However, for the first season in years, the 26-year-old has had a summer of relaxation and will come into the new season fresh and raring to go. 

Tottenham's squad has already taken a hit with injuries and the season has not even begun. Juan Foyth and Dele Alli are both out of the first game and Serge Aurier is unlikely to feature with a hand injury - not a great start for a team who has Manchester City and Arsenal to play in their four games. 

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Away games to their fellow top-four rivals have always been the Achilles heel for Spurs. The Lilywhites have won once in the league at Stamford Bridge in the past 29 years and just once in the league since the Emirates Stadium opened which came in 2011 under Harry Redknapp.

For Spurs to truly provide a title charge they are the games where they must come away with a win, however, there is nothing to suggest from this summer's transfer window this season will be any different. 

One to watch

Troy Parrott

Spurs did not renew Fernando Llorente's contract after it expired on July 1 which has left Pochettino with only one recognised senior striker.

Although, Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura are more than capable of playing up top it is likely we will see the promotion of 17-year-old Troy Parrott who has shone in throughout Tottenham's pre-season. 

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The Irish striker looked more than capable of holding his own in Asia against Juventus and Manchester United. A combination of strength and composure was evident, two things which you do not often find in a player of such youth.

Parrott almost opened his account in senior football for Spurs against Real Madrid but he saw his effort agonisingly denied by the post after leaving Keylor Navas stranded. 

Potential wildcard

Kyle Walker-Peters

Following the departure of Kieran Trippier, it has put the right-back spot up for grabs with Serge Aurier failing to impress since his arrival from PSG two years ago.

The hole left in the squad has meant Kyle Walker-Peters is set to become Tottenham's first-choice right-back. The Englishman has featured occasionally for Spurs but has never been able to consistently keep his place in the starting XI.

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Walker-Peters is unlikely to ever get a better chance to prosper in the first-team and with that in mind, the 22-year-old must come of age for Spurs to succeed this season. 

Foyth was looking likely to play an important role at right-back following his impressive Copa America campaign in that position. However, the 21-year-old suffered an ankle injury against Bayern Munich last week and is now set to miss the opening months of the season. 

What to expect

Another season battling for the top four is a reasonable expectation for Spurs. Had they followed up on the exciting signing of Tanguy Ndombele then maybe, just maybe, we would find ourselves comparing Spurs with Manchester City and Liverpool.

However, that has not been the case and it looks like Spurs could find themselves in between the title battle and the scrap for the top four.

Although this may have satisfied Spurs fans a few years ago, now, there is the growing concern that without the financial backing from Daniel Levy Spurs are beginning to plateau domestically and allowing the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United to quickly catch up. 

Can Spurs finally end their trophy drought is the question, with the Premier League title looking unlikely it likely leave the FA Cup and Carabao Cup as their most likely coup.

But history will show Pochettino has not faired well in either competition and last season in particular Spurs fielded a weakened side in a winnable clash against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup. 

The first month of fixtures could play a huge role in Tottenham's season with key fixtures against City and their local-rivals Arsenal but history will show Spurs have not enjoyed their visits there in recent years. 

Predicted finish: 3rd

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