Fabio Paratici will have plenty of work to do in his new role as Tottenham’s managing director of football ahead of next season. The 48-year-old, who left his post at Juventus back in May, can expect a baptism of fire over the coming weeks and months as he attempts to piece together a side capable of challenging for a place in the Premier League’s top four.
Spurs slumped to a disappointing seventh-placed finish last time around and their pre-season preparations are already in disarray.
Daniel Levy’s search for a new manager to replace Jose Mourinho has laboured on for more than two months, with moves for Antonio Conte, Paulo Fonseca and Gennaro Gattuso all falling through at the eleventh hour.
The club have also been forced into dealing with the small matter of a transfer saga involving star man Harry Kane, who is reportedly keen to find a new challenge before the start of the season.
In addition to the two main issues tormenting Spurs this summer, they will also need to recruit a number of new players to stand any chance of improving on their recent shortcomings.
Defensive reinforcements are widely believed to be on the agenda, with the likes of Eric Dier and Serge Aurier failing to live up to expectations as of late.
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The addition of a new right-back to compete with the latter could be a shrewd move from Paratici, who is said to be running the rule over Norwich City’s Max Aarons as a potential option.
The 21-year-old, who has also been linked with Manchester United, excelled in the Championship last season as the Canaries sealed an immediate return to the Premier League.
He was also a shining light for Norwich during the previous campaign in which they were relegated from England’s top flight, turning plenty of heads with his impressive technical ability and strong defensive nous.
Although United are said to be keen on signing a full-back this summer and have been credited with a long-standing interest in Aarons, Spurs have the perfect weapon to nip ahead of the Red Devils if they decide to launch a bid for his services.
Young midfielder Oliver Skipp could hold the key for Paratici, who may be able to test Norwich’s resolve with a player-plus-cash deal that would see the England under-21 international move the other way.
He spent the entirety of last season on loan at Carrow Road, emerging as one of the club’s finest operators in spite of his tender years and earning a place in the PFA Championship Team of the Year as a reward for his efforts.
Some may argue that allowing Skipp to leave would contradict Levy’s desire to bring young talent into the Spurs first-team, but the Carabao Cup finalists would still have a number of other exciting prospects to suit the 59-year-old’s plans.
Dane Scarlett and Alfie Devine look primed for senior roles in the years to come, while Troy Parrott also looks promising and Japhet Tanganga has already stepped up to the plate.
The drawbacks of losing Skipp would be outweighed by the benefits of gaining Aarons, who is regarded by many to be one of the best young right-backs in European football.
If Spurs decide against pursuing a move for his signature this summer, they could be missing a golden opportunity to capture a player with the ability to become a future star.
It remains to be seen whether Levy and Paratici will act on their reported interest in Aarons, but they will need to make the right decisions in the transfer market to steer clear of another lacklustre campaign.
Spurs cannot afford to miss out on Champions League football once again next season if they are to maintain their status as one of England’s elite.
Beating United to the signing of Aarons, who has also been tracked by Barcelona and Bayern Munich, would serve as a real statement of intent as Levy aims to finally conjure up a trophy-winning formula.