Nuno Espirito Santo’s Tottenham to-do list: Keep Harry Kane and reconnect with fans

The England captain is known to want to leave this summer.

Jonathan Veal
Thursday 01 July 2021 08:44
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Nuno Espirito Santo's first Spurs interview

Tottenham have appointed Nuno Espirito Santo as their new head coach.

The Portuguese has been out of work since leaving Wolves at the end of last season and replaces Jose Mourinho who was sacked in April.

Here, we take a look at the issues awaiting Nuno at the north London club.

Convince Harry Kane to stay

One of his first jobs will be to pick up the phone to Harry Kane and see where the land lies. The England captain is known to want to leave this summer, so it will be up to the Portuguese, as well as incoming sporting director Fabio Paratici, to convince Kane that the future is bright at Tottenham. Despite his desire to leave, an exit is not guaranteed with three years left on his contract and Spurs likely to want north of £150million for him, so Nuno must also be able to manage the 27-year-old if he does stay.

Reconnect with the fans

Tottenham fans protested against chairman Daniel Levy and the club's owners last season

The relationship between the club and the fans has never been as bad as it is now after two years of PR gaffes and controversial decisions. Sacking the popular Pochettino, furloughing staff during the coronavirus pandemic, agreeing to join the European Super League and charging £60 for fans to return last season when other clubs were charging a fraction of that, have seen the connection between the two hit rock-bottom. Nuno must be the middle-man in repairing those rifts and there is no better way to do that than producing a winning team.

Rediscover the club’s DNA

Chairman Daniel Levy admitted at the end of last season that the club had lost sight of its “core DNA” and vowed to appoint a manager who would play “attacking and entertaining” football in the wake of Mourinho’s spell in charge. On paper Nuno does not fill that brief as his Wolves team were set up in a more pragmatic way. It seems odd that a club places more value on their style of play than results, but if Nuno can somehow marry the two – just as Pochettino did – then he will go some way to winning over a sceptical fanbase.

Blood the youngsters

Oliver Skipp had an excellent season on loan at Norwich

Another key component of the profile Levy set out was for the new manager to develop youth players. Spurs have an exciting array of academy graduates at their disposal and Nuno will be expected to make use of them. Oliver Skipp and Ryan Sessegnon, who spent last season on loan at Norwich and Hoffenheim respectively, should be integrated into the first-team squad, while promising youngsters Dane Scarlett and Alfie Devine could also be blooded in on a more regular basis.