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Tottenham 2022-23 season preview - prediction, summer signings, star player

:Headline: Tottenham 2022-23 season preview - prediction, summer signings, star player:
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look ahead to Tottenham Hotspur's 2022-23 campaign, including predictions, summer signings and their star player.
Sports Mole

From experiencing life in the doldrums under Nuno Espirito Santo to storming up the rankings under Antonio Conte, 2021-22 was quite the rollercoaster for Tottenham Hotspur.

Pipping Arsenal to Champions League football on the final day of the season led to celebrations across the Lilywhites half of North London, and Conte's side must now prove that their European pedigree is still well and truly alive.

Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster, Richarlison, Djed Spence and Clement Lenglet are all ready to make their mark in white, with Daniel Levy and Fabio Paratici overseeing a significant summer of investment at the request of Conte.

Team K-League and Rangers fell to Spurs' superiority in pre-season, while Sevilla held the Lilywhites to a draw, and Roma boss Jose Mourinho got one over his old club with a 1-0 success in the I-Tech Cup.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look ahead to Tottenham Hotspur's 2022-23 campaign, including predictions, summer signings and their star player.


FIXTURES

A relatively friendly opening fixture against Southampton on home soil will come Tottenham's way on August 6, but they must then travel to Chelsea just eight days later before the first North London derby of the season with Arsenal on October 1.

Brentford are waiting to welcome their capital counterparts for a Boxing Day showdown, and the Lilywhites' first fixture of 2023 is another London derby, this time away to Crystal Palace.

Spurs then play host to bitter rivals Arsenal on January 14, and two fixtures versus Liverpool and Manchester United within the space of the week at the end of April will test Spurs' mettle.

On May 28, Leeds United welcome Spurs to Elland Road on the final day of the season, but Conte will of course have to navigate his side around European and cup exploits.

> Click here to see all of Tottenham's 2022-23 fixtures


SUMMER SIGNINGS

In
Ivan Perisic (free, Inter Milan)
Fraser Forster (free, Southampton)
Yves Bissouma (£25m, Brighton & Hove Albion)
Richarlison (£60m, Everton)
Clement Lenglet (loan, Barcelona)
Djed Spence (£13.2m, Middlesbrough)

Out
Cameron Carter-Vickers (£6m, Celtic)
Steven Bergwijn (£28.1m, Ajax)
Jack Clarke (undisclosed, Sunderland)
Josh Oluwayemi (free, Portsmouth)
Troy Parrott (loan, Preston North End)
Dane Scarlett (loan, Portsmouth)
Alfie Whiteman (loan, Degerfors)
Joe Rodon (loan, Rennes)

Tottenham Hotspur total spent to date: £98.2m
Tottenham Hotspur total received to date: £34.1m

Tottenham Hotspur net transfer balance: -£64.1m


SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Fraser Forster, Brandon Austin

Defenders: Cristian Romero, Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Clement Lenglet, Matt Doherty, Emerson Royal, Ryan Sessegnon, Sergio Reguilon, Davinson Sanchez, Djed Spence, Japhet Tanganga

Midfielders: Rodrigo Bentancur, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp, Yves Bissouma, Pape Sarr, Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Winks, Ivan Perisic

Forwards: Harry Kane, Richarlison, Dejan Kulusevski, Lucas Moura, Son Heung-min, Bryan Gil


STRONGEST XI


STAR PLAYER - Son Heung-min

It would have been easy to select Harry Kane as Tottenham's standout player, as he has been for the past seven years, but the Golden Boot fell into the arms of a different Spurs attacker in 2021-22.

While Kane was struggling to replicate his prolific ways of old, the other half of the dynamic duo - Son Heung-min - was making the net ripple left, right and centre, and the 30-year-old still has plenty of life left in his legs yet.

The 30-year-old's 23 league goals last term saw him clinch his share of the Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah and become the first-ever Asian player to finish as top scorer in the Premier League, and he has also broken into the top 10 of Spurs' all-time goalscoring list with 131 strikes.

Not only that, but Son and Kane have now combined for 41 goals in the Premier League and have seemingly welcomed the missing piece of the puzzle to their attack in Dejan Kulusevski, which only spells optimism for South Korea's national hero as he endeavours to help Spurs finally win a major honour.


MANAGER - Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte to Tottenham seemed too good to be true at one point, and it very nearly was, as the Italian openly flirted with an exit from the Lilywhites during Spurs' sticky patch in the spring.

The Italian's future will continue to be called into question for as long as Tottenham go without silverware, but Spurs fans can at least look forward to the Premier League and Serie A title-winner commandeering the reins for the 2022-23 season.

While Conte may present a charming demeanour during press conferences, Tottenham's players witness a different side to the 52-year-old, and his notoriously merciless pre-season training sessions left the majority of his first-team stars unable to do anything but collapse at the side of the pitch.

However, the Lilywhites are already reaping the rewards of Conte's management and unwavering loyalty to a settled crop of regular fixtures, and the capital club could hardly be in better hands as they seek to end a 14-year stint without a major honour.


LAST SEASON - 4th

Tottenham may have opened the 2021-22 campaign with three wins and three clean sheets, heading to the top of the table in the process, but it was all downhill from there for Nuno Espirito Santo.

The Portuguese lost five of his next seven league games in charge before being shown the exit door, as Daniel Levy and co brought in Conte to steady the ship, which initially worked a treat during a nine-game unbeaten run.

Three defeats from five in February led to growing discontent around the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Spurs struggling to maintain a charge for Europe, but Conte's January signings soon had the desired impact.

A two-horse race for fourth spot would emerge between Tottenham and Arsenal, and the Lilywhites would come up trumps, sealing their return to the Champions League and congratulating Son Heung-min on his share of the golden boot.

Conte's side were tipped as one of the favourites to go all the way in the Europa Conference League before being forced to abandon their continental pursuit amid a COVID-19 cluster, but defeats to Vitesse and Mura had them playing catch-up anyway.

Pursuits of domestic silverware also ended in disappointment for Spurs, who bowed out in the fifth round of the FA Cup to Middlesbrough and made it to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup only to be defeated 3-0 on aggregate by Chelsea.


PREDICTION

By making statement signings in areas of the pitch that needed them and spending the remainder of their wage bill wisely, Tottenham are well-placed to juggle the Premier League and Champions League next term.

Conte may also look to prioritise a cup competition and put a long-overdue trophy in the cabinet, but his side should not rest on their laurels when it comes to a top four charge.

Spurs are incredibly unlikely to go all the way in Europe, but the Lilywhites' fearsome attacking trio can propel the North London club to another top-four finish next term.

VERDICT: 4th


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