September 3, 2013

Assessing the transfer window

Transfer activity

NB: values are ‘best guesses’ based on reports.

Ins

Vlad Chiricheș (£8.5m)
Paulinho (£17m)
Étienne Capoue (£8.6m)
Nacer Chadli (£7m)
Roberto Soldado (£25.8m)
Erik Lamela (£29.9m – inc £4.2m in bonus payments)
Christian Eriksen (£11.5m)

Professional contracts:
Shaq Coulthirst, Lawrence Vigouroux, Kenneth McEvoy, Grant Ward.

3rd year scholarships:
Alexander McQueen, Dominic Ball, Laste Dombaxe, Ruben Lameiras, Darren McQueen.

New Academy intake:
Luke Amos, Channing Campbell-Young, Anthony Georgou, Cy Goddard, Shayon Harrison, Joshua Onomah, Joe Pritchard, Lloyd Ross, Harry Voss, Kyle Walker-Peters, Anton Walkes.

Outs

Gareth Bale (£86m)
Clint Dempsey (£5.8m)
Steven Caulker (£8.5m)
Tom Huddlestone (£5.5m)
Scott Parker (£3m)
Massimo Luongo (£400k)
Nathan Byrne (free)

Loans:
Jake Livermore (Hull City), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Queens Park Rangers), Tom Carroll (Queens Park Rangers), Adam Smith (Derby County), Bongani Khumalo (Doncaster Rovers), Grant Hall (Swindon Town), Alex Pritchard (Swindon Town), Ryan Mason (Swindon Town), Tomislav Gomelt (Royal Antwerp), Yago Falque (Rayo Vallecano).

Professionals released:
William Gallas, David Bentley, John Bostock, Jack Munns, Jack Barthram, Jake Nicholson, Dean Parrett.

Academy players released:
Tom Gardiner, Mason Bush, William Ekong, Billy Grainger, Sam Smith, Victor Zapata-Caicedo.

Analysis

Franco Baldini, our recently appointed Technical Director, has illustrated his worth already. It surely cannot be a coincidence that Baldini arrived at the same time as Spurs seemed to develop a coherent transfer strategy. By that I mean that we seem to have identified players for now (i.e. players at an age and level of experience who will fit straight into the first-team squad) and have gone out and got them – David Villa aside. We have acted decisively and as a unit – Villas-Boas knows how he wants to play, and Baldini/Levy have brought in players who will help him achieve this.

There has been much talk on forums, podcasts and on Twitter that Spurs’ window has “proven” once and for all that you don’t need Champions League football to attract the best players; personally I think the opposite. Whilst our dealings have been decisive and largely hassle-free, I think we are still shopping for ‘second-tier’ players – albeit arguably the best second-tier players we could have hoped for. This was best illustrated by Arsenal signing Mesut Özil on deadline day. Arsenal had a poor transfer window in which they mostly failed to address problem areas; however, in Özil they have signed one of the best players in European football. Spurs simply weren’t and aren’t able to compete for this type of player, due to wage demands and due to the players’ desire to play Champions League football. Were we able to, perhaps Bale wouldn’t have left.

Don’t get me wrong, Lamela and Eriksen are good players – and potentially very good players – but it says a lot that we were competing with the likes of Liverpool in trying to sign them – another club likely to be battling for 4th rather than challenging for the title. Likewise Soldado is a good striker – but we have effectively paid £25.8m for a striker who finishes exceptionally well, but who doesn’t tend to involve himself much in general play. For me, a player who costs that much simply has to be more of an all-rounder (but that’s almost by-the-by, and I do rate Soldado and think he’ll score a lot of goals for us).

We’ve done exceptionally well this window to fill nearly all of our problem positions (left-back remains an issue) and to improve both the first eleven and squad, whilst also getting players off the wage bill, but until we have Champions League football and, probably, a large stadium that brings in more match-day revenue (and will allow us, therefore, to offer more in wages), we simply can’t attract the top-tier players.

25-man squad

Our 25-man (which is actually a 24-man squad) squad is likely to be as follows (* = home-grown player):

Hugo Lloris
Brad Friedel
Heurelho Gomes

Kyle Walker*
Danny Rose*
Kyle Naughton*

Younes Kaboul
Jan Vertonghen
Michael Dawson*
Vlad Chiriches

Sandro
Paulinho
Mousa Dembélé
Étienne Capoue

Andros Townsend*
Nacer Chadli
Aaron Lennon*
Gylfi Sigurðsson*
Lewis Holtby
Simon Dawkins*

Roberto Soldado
Emmanuel Adebayor
Jermain Defoe*
Jonathan Obika*

NB: a home-grown player is defined as follows:

… one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Welsh Football Association for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).

We do not need to name players who are under 21 on the squad list; for the 2013/14 campaign under 21 players will have been born on or after 1st January 1992. Eriksen, Lamela, Fryers, Kane and Stewart, for example, do not need to be included on the list.

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  • christian says:

    eriksen seems to be missing and we gonna need fryers.

  • Billy says:

    Eriksen will start I think, and let’s forget the lost as I believe we dominated and the result was unfair.

    Let’s also sign a petition to end our partnership with Real Madrid, they’re just tapping up our players and selling to our rival, pointless partnership if you ask me.

    changeDOTorg/petitions/tottenham-hotspur-football-club-end-the-strategic-partnership-with-real-madrid-2#share

  • SpursFanAndy says:

    Wow, Windy! For once I disagree with you! I see Eriksen and Lamela as world class players and don’t feel that Arsenal addressed their true needs (goalkeeper, defense, attack) while being forced to heavily overpay for someone who did not live up to his billing in Spain. Not that all good players do, of course! Ozil had supposedly stated he would only go to a team that could win championships but has clearly gone for money instead.

    I have one question re. the 21 year old thing: do young new foreign recruits really not have to be included in the squad? Wasn’t aware of that.

  • CK_Spurs says:

    Good assessment, clear and to the point, no BS!

    Eriksen and Fryers were born after Jan ’92 (Feb & Sept ’92, respectively), so do not need to be named on the list for this season.

    COYS

  • MickeyG says:

    Simon Dawkins remains a mystery. One of our longest serving players. He’ll probably be given a testimonial !

  • Alan says:

    Good write up Windy.

    The definition of a good signing is getting the best available player that solves a need and the cheapest price possible, in my opinion.

    I think in most cases, we have ticked that box at THFC this summer. With perhaps the exception of Soldado who, like you, I don’t think has enough to justify his 26M fee. He’s a clinical goalscorer with good control and excellent movement (sadly completely missed by our midfielders) but I’d rather have signed Benteke. Soldado would suit AFC’s long list of playmakers who do most the creative work. AVB appears to prefer a more rigid style and therefore the striker needs to hold the ball up long enough to bring other deep sitting midfielders into play and create things for himself.

  • bonse says:

    Good write up Windy. There’s a few names on there i just wonder about, Khumalo and Falque for instance, I’ve seen both play great but i would have thought if they hadn’t made it by now they never will and all we are doing is ruining two promising careers that could have found success in other leagues across the world.

    I see alot being said about moving the transfer window to before the start of the season, I remember when you could buy a player whenever you liked, i don’t remember it being a big deal, all it seems to have done is pushed the prices right up and given sky a christmas come early night of high ad income.

    One thing i would like to see an end to overlapping the season start is the damned international friendlies and qualifiers, stick them in the off season and someone might actually watch.

    But back to Tottenham, it seems we are at least a step away from having two quality players in each position, pushing each other to avoid complacency and covering absence without changing the formula. Seems a few need time to settle, remember Sandro was given half a season before being thrown in full time and that was considered early, we’ll see if thats the case with Paulinho and Chadli.

    Other clubs? Arsenal getting Ozil is great for them and all, but I’m not convinced it was what they needed, a better comparison would be liverpool, got in a solid goal keeper and look a different side, had arsenal done the same i would be a little more worried, I despise Szezny and every word he says, but have always been comforted in the fact that he really isnt very good by premier league standards. There’s a good chance Ozil will actually be good, and so my hope is that they actually bought Marty Feldman

  • stinking pears says:

    It is I Windy, Stinking Pears.

    I really can’t apologize enough for the stench.

    Re: luongo

    Bear in mind that Swindon added Ajose as another loanee late in the window. Presumably this took them past max number of loanees.

    So Luongo’s sale isn’t actually an indication that we are letting him go – rather that of all the loanees Luongo was the best. My thinking being that he was the one Swindon were most prepared to splash out £400K on – because they are SO sure that we are going to buy him back f that it removes the risk. Whereas buying Hall could have turned out expensive if he then suffered a double leg break – we wouldn’t have bothered buying him back just to rehabilitate him for two years.

  • stinking pears says:

    Second stinking point

    Sherwood probably has to take a bit of rap for our shambles of a youth development system.

    Carrol should have had a premier league loan, and a deadline day deal reeks of no coherent strategy and response to Roy’s bollocking – which is frankly unforgivable for our key youth asset.

    Failure to offload Obika and Dawkins is puzzling.

    Caulker’s departure a great shame, but at least it’s what’s best for him and we got proper money.

    Annoyed that the home leg against tlibsi had no shaq or fredricks on bench. if not then, when?

    Smith on bench for Derby. Really tired of seeing so many of our assets not starting for these teams. Other top teams seem to be making considered and effective loans. We aren’t

    Will wait to see what the loan window holds. I want to see Kane either get match time or a good loan.

  • stinking pears says:

    Probably biggest issue with Transfer window is that if Lloris gets injured we are in big trouble – friedel totally incompatible with our system

  • Sweetsman says:

    Özil has made the big mistake of deciding on his team just after getting jilted. While he is obviously a very good player, it is Isco and Modrić who have been preferred. Furthermore, it will be interesting to see if the Goons make it out of the group stages as they have Dortmund and Napoli to contend with. It is worth noting that the incomes at Arse Plc is on a par with Real and Bayern; and yet they have struggled to end up above us two seasons running. We have to potential to be the be one of the best teams in the League. The Goons were on the back foot a lot in the NLD and we were disjointed in the final third.

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