Before the January 2021 transfer window gets into full swing, Sam Brookes looks back at 2020 and picks his top-three Tottenham Hotspur performers in the calendar year.
As 2020 draws to a close, it’s fair to say Tottenham are ending the year in a far better position than they started it.
Following a dismal start to 2019/20, Spurs spent the second half of last season trying to salvage a Europa League spot. They managed to do just that, and have kicked on in their current campaign.
From mid-table mediocrity to title contenders, it has been some year for the club. But which players have played a key role in Spurs’ resurgence?
Top three Tottenham players
Let’s take a look at my top three performers for the side in 2020 – in descending order…
3. Hugo Lloris
The Tottenham captain returned in late January 2020 following a serious elbow injury sustained, mid-howler, against Brighton and Hove Albion in October.
The team had been struggling and their 3-0 loss on the South Coast merely added salt to the Frenchman’s wounds.
There had been question marks regarding Loris’ form prior to his injury, with Paulo Gazzaniga waiting in the wings for a chance to impress.
However, since his return the World Cup winner has been impeccable. Delivering consistently assured displays, the goalkeeper has been a major reason for Tottenham tightening up at the back.
Spurs conceded just once in four matches in November as they moved to the top of the table. That run included clean sheets against Manchester City and Chelsea.
Lloris had a bit of a wobble when he spilled Eberechi Eze’s free-kick that led to Jeffrey Schlupp’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace on 13 December.
Despite criticism from France international turned pundit Patrice Evra, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho labelled Lloris the “best goalkeeper in the Premier League” in his post-match press conference.
Overall, it’s fair to say Lloris has answered his critics – and looked back to his best this season.
2. Son Heung-min
Son Heung-min has often been seen by Spurs fans as a tireless worker who always plays with a smile on his face.
Yet that assessment fails to give enough credit to the quality he produces on the pitch. In 2020, Son has taken his game to new heights.
The winger was one of the side’s few positives in 2019/20, netting 11 goals and providing 11 assists in the league. Those numbers look set to be bettered this season.
The 28-year-old scored four goals against Southampton in September and followed that with further strikes against Manchester United, West Ham and Burnley.
His outstanding form for Tottenham earned him the Premier League player of the month award for October. His partnership with Harry Kane has been nothing short of sensational and ‘Sonny’ simply has to be on this list.
1. Harry Kane
No suprise here – but Harry Kane’s year could hardly have got off to a worse start. On the opening day of 2020, he limped off with a hamstring injury that threatened to keep him out for the rest of the season.
However, the coronavirus pandemic brought football to a halt for three months and, when the sport returned in June, Kane had recovered.
The striker finished the campaign in red-hot form. Braces against Newcastle and Leicester hinted he was set for a big 2020/21 season.
That has proved to be the case. Known primarily as a goalscorer and not much else until this season, Kane has developed into the complete footballer.
He provided assists in five consecutive league games in September and October. His partnership with Son has blossomed as the pair try to keep Spurs in the title picture.
Kane scores goals, sets them up, and is even willing to do his defensive duties from set-pieces. He deserves to be recognised as Spurs’ best player of 2020.