Alan Smith: 'Tottenham Hotspur signings will improve'

Alan Smith says that Tottenham Hotspur will challenge Arsenal for a spot in the top four once their new signings have had time to gel.

Arsenal legend Alan Smith believes that Tottenham Hotspur's new signings can still help them finish above his former club this season.

Despite having spent £110m so far this summer, Andre Villas-Boas' side were beaten 1-0 by the Gunners in the North London derby at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

"As Arsene Wenger warned before this match, it is not easy fitting so many new faces into a team," Smith told The Telegraph. "Problems arise in terms of understanding and direction, qualities Paulinho and co noticeably struggled for once Arsenal went ahead.

"It will not, of course, always be like this. Franco Baldini and Daniel Levy, director of football and chairman respectively, do indeed seem to have moved very smartly. Spurs have acquired a collection of players, most fairly young, who should only get better as this season progresses.

"It bodes well for a future without Gareth Bale. Despite this defeat, Villas-Boas should have the tools to do a good job, one that might even involve finishing above Arsenal in May."

Spurs have made seven signings so far during the transfer window - Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli, Eric Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Vlad Chiriches.

Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen in action during a friendly match against Swindon on July 16, 2013
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