Jose Mourinho told Premier League title is Tottenham’s ‘on paper’ because of nine players

The Premier League title is Tottenham’s for the taking this season believes former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who is impressed with the squad at Jose Mourinho’s disposal. After eight games, Spurs sit second, only behind Leicester.

Mourinho’s side have gone seven games unbeaten since losing to Everton on the opening weekend and have scored a league-high 19 goals while boasting the joint-best defensive record, with nine goals conceded.

Spurs’ form has been powered by Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, who have a combined 15 goals and 10 assists, but Hasselbaink is also impressed by the depth behind the pair.

Fans’ favourite Gareth Bale returned on loan from Real Madrid in the summer and is nearly at 100 per cent, with it hoped he will form a fearsome front three alongside Kane and Son.

But Hasselbaink also rates the likes of Steven Bergwijn, Carlos Vinicius and Lucas Moura, who Spurs have in reserve to their first-choice front three, in addition to the midfield options Mourinho has in the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Pierre-Emile Hojberg and Harry Winks.

And he believes the strength of Spurs’ squad means they have a real shot at winning a first Premier League title and their first top-flight championship since 1961, with both Liverpool and Manchester City succumbing to injuries and not as impenetrable as previous campaigns.

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Discussing the title race, former Netherlands striker Hasselbaink told Ladbrokes: “Everybody has a chance this year. Leicester has a chance – everybody has a chance.

“I don’t think you should put the pressure of an expectation to win the league on Frank Lampard’s shoulders at Chelsea. Liverpool and Man City are the ones that ‘have’ to win it.

“Chelsea have to get close to them. If they do that, then next year you can say they ‘have’ to win it. That’s when you can put pressure on Frank. Not now.

“I think it should be between Liverpool and Man City, still. I know Liverpool have some problems at the moment, but their front three is just lethal. Man City are always going to be there or thereabout.

“I fancy – and this might hurt Chelsea supporters – Spurs for the title. I really do.

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“If you look at their front three, they’ve got Gareth Bale, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son. On paper that is the best front three in the country.

“And then on the bench, as replacements for that front three, they’ve got Steven Bergwijn, Carlos Vinicius and Lucas Moura.

“Then in midfield, they’ve got so many options. They’ve got Dele Alli, who doesn’t even play, Tanguy Ndombele, Pierre-Emile Hojberg, Harry Winks…

“The only area where they struggle a little bit is at centre-half, and maybe right-back.

“But if you look at all the teams in the league, Liverpool have problems at the back. Man City have problems at the back. So do Chelsea and Man United.

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“It should be – if you look on paper – Tottenham’s year. I think it’s going to be Liverpool, Man City, Tottenham and Chelsea for the top four. But Tottenham can easily win it.

Discussing Spurs’ prospects of being champions, having come close in 2015-16 before Leicester won a shock crown, talismanic striker Kane said earlier this month: “When you look at the ability of our squad, you would definitely say we’ve got enough to win a title.

“But I’d also say we’ve been close over the last four, five years but just haven’t quite got over the line.

“This is a season where I don’t think one team’s going to run away with it, like Liverpool did last year.

“So there’s going to be opportunities for other teams to put good runs together and get right up the table.

“Every time you lose a big game, or a final or a title race, you always wish you could have it back and give every ounce you have.

“There’s a lot of us in this squad who have been here now for a period of time and haven’t won anything.

“We all know it takes an awful lot to get over the line and we just need to find a way of doing it.”

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