No one man at Tottenham can replace Harry Kane. That’s why Jose Mourinho must transition Spurs to a formation that features three players up front.
Injuries to both Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min have rendered Tottenham’s attack toothless in recent matches. In truth, no one man can replace either player for Jose Mourinho. That’s why The Special One needs to transition Spurs to a 4-3-3.
It’s really a simple idea. Rather than trying to force an attacking midfielder to lead the line on his own, Mourinho must try to spread the responsibility out between three players. That will minimize the importance of who starts the match as the No. 9. The philosophy should be to liberally interchange all attacking positions throughout the match.
Steven Bergwijn must be one of the three starters for Tottenham’s big matches down the stretch. He’s only just arrived in North London, but he’s already shown immense quality for Spurs. His ability to control the ball with exquisite first touches is a breath of fresh air for the club. He doesn’t have the size to be a great hold up player, but he can serve as a release valve for his teammates. Once he controls the ball, he’s also able to quickly transition possession into quality scoring chances.
Playing a front three will also give Dele Alli a route back into the starting XI. No one can deny the fact that he’s struggled as of late. Mourinho was justified in his decision to leave him out of the starting XI at Chelsea on Saturday.
Giving him the freedom to play with two attackers up front can unlock what Dele does best. He’s at his best when he’s free to roam all over the pitch to make runs at unsuspecting defenders. It will be impossible for opposing defenders to keep full attention on Dele when they’re forced to worry about two of his teammates at all times.
The third starting spot up front is a more challenging choice for Mourinho. Lucas Moura has gotten a ton of playing time in Kane’s absence, but his performances have been poor. That’s why Erik Lamela should get his chance to rejoin the starting XI. That will require the Argentine to stay healthy, but he’s still the best option available to Spurs at the moment.
It’s also a possibility that Ryan Sessegnon, or even Gedson Fernandes could force their way into this conversation. Both could be appealing to Mourinho on the basis of their respective work rates. Sessegnon, in particular, could give Tottenham some much-needed attacking width on the left hand side.
No matter which three attackers Mourinho chooses on a match-by-match basis, he must stop trying to address his attacking concerns with one or two players. It will take a full three players to make Spurs’ attack dangerous once again.