By Tom Blackburn
Former Newcastle star Alan Shearer says Tottenham are one of six sides capable of winning the 2016-17 Premier League title.
The Match of the Day pundit says that while he fancies Man City for the title, the Tottenham side are waiting to peak and Mauricio Pochettino should fancy his side’s chances.
“I agree with MOTD host Gary Lineker that Leicester will not retain their title – but that still leaves six teams who can win it: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham,” Shearer wrote on the BBC Sport website.
“If you pushed me, I would go with City because of new manager Pep Guardiola and the quality of their squad, but it is going to be very close.
“Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino spent most of last season playing down his side’s chances even when they were challenging for the title.
“He is not the only manager to do that but, whatever any of them say publicly, all six managers will believe they can win it this time.
“Pochettino’s side came so close last time out, he will not want them to fall away. He has not spent a fortune in the transfer market this summer, but Spurs were already strong in most positions so there was no need to.
“Yes, it will be tough for them to improve on third place but they have a very young team and there is no way they have peaked.
“Spurs faded in the final month of last season, which might have been down to pressure. If they are in the same position this time, they will have learned from what happened and be stronger for it.”
Tottenham fought with champions Leicester for the Premier League title in the final few months of their season, before the wheels eventually fell off their bid.
They have strengthened their squad this summer, with striker Vincent Janssen and combative midfielder Victor Wanyama both arriving.
Janssen joined Tottenham for £18million from AZ Alkmaar earlier in the summer after lighting up the Eredivisie and is expected to provide important support for star striker Harry Kane, who has had to carry the team’s goal scoring efforts over the last two seasons.
Jamie Redknapp this week hailed Janssen as the best Dutch export since Luis Suarez, and expects high things of him.
“I was chatting to Ruud Gullit last week and he was talking very highly of this boy,” wrote Redknapp in his Mail column. “The last Dutch league export he talked up this much was Luis Suarez, so if Janssen is half as good he’ll be all right.”
Wanyama arrived at White Hart Lane from Southampton for £11million and with Mousa Dembele currently serving a suspension, he is expected to go straight into the side.
In other Tottenham news, their £32,000-a-week midfield ace demands a 370 per cent pay rise.