How Victor Wanyama frees up Spurs’ star pair to get even better
Harry Kane and Dele Alli were a potent combination at Tottenham last season.
The England pair, who won the Premier League Golden Boot and PFA Young Player of the Year respectively, were the headline acts in Spurs’ almost-but-not-quite pursuit of the top-flight title.
Their hype came with good reason. No tandem produced more goals than the seven that Alli assisted Kane with; that tally equalling the number Troy Deeney provided Odion Ighalo at Watford and Mesut Ozil laid on for Olivier Giroud at Arsenal.
The partnership flourished with Alli playing behind Kane in the number 10 position, while Mousa Dembele lining up alongside Eric Dier in central midfield.
However Spurs’ injury issues and thin manpower in the middle of the park meant fielding that trio in their preferred slots wasn’t always possible.
With Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb not fully fit and Tom Carroll given few opportunities, Alli often slid back to partner Dier in Dembele’s absence. As a result, Kane’s stats suffered.
The Walthamstow frontman scored 19 goals in the 21 games in which his partner in crime started behind him and notched just seven in the 17 when he didn’t.
That issue has been eradicated with the signing of Victor Wanyama for the coming season though, with the former Southampton man able to slot in next to Dier or Dembele should one of that first-choice pair be unavailable.
In turn, Alli is now freed up to play the entire season in attacking midfield, which is a huge positive for both the Lilywhites’ top-four ambitions and Kane’s desire to retain his Golden Boot.
We make the north Londoners 9/1 to win the title this season and 6/5 to land in the Champions League spots. Kane is the second favourite, at 6/1, to be the division’s top scorer, behind Man City’s Sergio Aguero at 3s.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.