Based on the past five seasons, it's difficult to determine whether Tottenham Hotspur are in transition or simply in a rut.
This campaign, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have played some scintillating football whilst defensively they have considerably improved, with the partnership of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld proving an effective one.
Yet at a glance, the bigger picture is blurred. Not many predict Spurs to mount a serious title challenge despite being just five points adrift of the summit, whereas others believe that while their squad may fare well in domestic competitions, the Champions League is a different kettle of fish entirely.
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Tottenham are stranded in no man’s land somewhat - too good for the Europa League positions, yet not quite good enough to challenge in the Champions League.
Chairman Daniel Levy is widely renowned for his shrewd activities in the transfer windows, yet high-profile names appear difficult to lure to White Hart Lane and Europa League football.
Kieran Trippier, Ben Davies and Nacer Chadli have all proved satisfactory investments - but satisfactory doesn't yield trophies.
Perhaps this is a harsh evaluation when Spurs captured fan favourite Christian Eriksen for a reasonable £11 million, which could be argued as one of the better buys in recent years.
Yet his signing still doesn't compare to the likes of Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Manchester City's David Silva. Tottenham have become the 'best of the rest'.
Spurs should be given credit for the talented side they've acquired even despite considerably less funding. Dele Alli and Harry Kane both look excellent prospects and are currently taking the Premier League - and the England national team - by storm.
It is in such young, home-grown talent that Spurs must place their hopes. They're a long way off competing with Europe's elite, but with the average age of their starting XI's often in the low 20's, they certainly have time on their side.
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