Welcome to Tottenham Hotspur, Ben Davies and Michel Vorm!

Tottenham have completed the signing of Welsh left back Ben Davies and Dutch keeper Michel Vorm from Swansea in a deal rumoured to be worth around £15 million with Gylfi Sigurdsson going the other way to Swansea for £10 million in virtually a swap deal for Davies. A deal that suits Tottenham, and I’m sure Swansea will benefit from too. Sigurdsson is a fantastic player and being the key man in Swansea’s midfield will definitely make him show his undoubted quality but he doesn’t fit in at Spurs, with too many players in his position, and he’s too good for our bench, so a move is best, but Tottenham get in return a player who will fill our left back slot for years to come, in a position we desperately needed to fill and a keeper that can be a like-for-like back up to Hugo Lloris. We’re signing Davies not only for his previous performances, but also for what those performances have shown he can do in the future. It’s filled a weakness that’s been quickly spotted by Pochettino and his coaching staff. We’ve been waiting quite a while for our first piece of business in the transfer window, but it’s apparent that Pochettino believes in the squad we have and only wants to tinker in key areas, something we expected after last summer’s spending and the 7 signings we made that haven’t all clicked into place just yet, but that’s what Pochettino was hired to do. Make those players into what we believed they would be when they were first signed. Now, Ben Davies and Michel Vorm have been added to the ranks and I think it’s a good news for Tottenham.

Ben Davies is 21 and already has two full Premier League seasons to his name with Swansea, also having 7 games in the Europa League with appearances against Napoli on the résumé, so he’s a very experienced player for someone so young. He made 85 appearances for Swansea in all competitions with a League Cup trophy to his name. He came through the ranks at the Welsh club, getting the chance to play because of an injury to first choice left back Neil Taylor, and he grabbed it with both hands and within a season was definite first choice after a great season under Michael Laudrup. The second season Swansea struggled because of Europa League commitments, but the experience of trying to juggle both will surely only help Ben Davies now that he’s at Spurs. Davies’ performances have earned him a place in the Welsh national squad, too, having 10 appearances to his name and of course that will only increase with time. It’s been a pretty amazing 2 seasons for Ben Davies, and now securing this deal to Tottenham is the next step and hopefully, it’ll be even more successful than his Swansea time, in trophies and performances.

At 21 years of age, Davies is a raw talent, he will learn with experience, but the fact he has only made 2 defensive errors in two full Premier League seasons, compared to Danny Rose’s 3 defensive errors last season alone shows what a cool head is on Ben’s shoulders. Davies is a very competent left back, he does his job well, isn’t rash, doesn’t make many mistakes and is composed on the ball with an 84% passing accuracy last season. Consistency is his game, he’s a 7/10 or more week-in-week-out, composed, technically and tactically astute, finding his left winger and his strikers, or his central midfielders who can do more damage than him in the opposition half.

But offensively, Davies created 31 chances last season from the left back slot, that’s compared with Aaron Lennon last season who created just 4 more chances from a much more advanced role at right wing, so you can see he is able to provide good chances for our more attacking players. Obviously there are a lot of things he needs to learn, but he will be nurtured by Pochettino, who has seen the potential in him through signing him it seems. Signing Davies solves a problem that we’ve had since Benoit Assou-Ekotto got injured and never returned to the level that he once had, we’ve tried Jan Vertonghen there, Danny Rose has had a season at left back after a successful season at Sunderland, but he’s failed to nail down his place with Davies seemingly replacing him now. At 21 years old Ben Davies can become our left back for many years to come, and hopefully he can be even more successful than our last Welsh left back, Gareth Bale.

Michel Vorm’s signing was rumoured to be worth £3.5 million – £5 million, another Swansea player. The goalkeeper is 30 years old has vast experience in the Premier League for Swansea and has a decent amount of appearances for his native country Holland, as well as in the World Cup this summer, even if it was only for 5 minutes. At a cut price deal, this is without a doubt a good signing, as a back up to our number 1 without question Hugo Lloris. A strange transfer in many ways, as Michel could easily be number one for another team in the Premier League, but he has chosen Tottenham and wants to fight, playing in cup competitions and if, God forbid, Hugo Lloris sustains an injury. He’s a much more like-for-like swap for Hugo, quick off his line, very assured on the ball, and very agile in the save and around his area, which gives me much more confidence with him in goal, with the high line we play than with Brad Friedel, a model professional, and for sure still a top goalkeeper even at his ripe old age of 43, but he doesn’t fill me with confidence when Hugo doesn’t feature, and now we can allow Friedel to become more of a coach and use his vast experience to help Hugo, Vorm and the younger ‘keepers develop even further. With Lloris, Vorm and Friedel, we without a doubt have one of the top set of keepers in the League.

The signing of Ben Davies and Michel Vorm kicks off this summer’ business for Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini and Mauricio Pochettino to create a team ready to compete. I think the signing of Davies and Vorm shows the direction we are taking in this window, signing players who have experience in the Premier League and in Europe, so they can fit straight in without the period of getting used to the League like last season, but now we can link this Premier League experience with quality who have now had a season in the Premier League and know what to expect. It’s going to be an interesting transfer window, but we’ve kicked off our Summer signing plugging a big hole and signing a good back up keeper. Now let’s get the rest of our business sorted early, so more can bed in and we can hit the ground running for the new season. COYS!!

What do you think of our new signings? Comment below!

Welcome to Spurs, Ben Davies and Michel Vorm!

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The Ins and Outs at Tottenham in the Summer Transfer Window 2014.

The season is over, we’ve got a new manager and the World Cup is about to start. Time to relax, right? Far from it. The transfer window is fast approaching, with the window officially opening on July 1st, but all throughout June deals will be rumoured, proposed & some will be done all ready for pre-season. It’s a long window in the summer. July 1st until August 31st, so plenty of time for Tottenham Hotspur to get their squad sorted all ready for a massive Premier League season for the club. In this article I’ll be discussing the ins, outs & what I think the club has to do during what will be a busy summer for Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini & Mauricio Pochettino.

Firstly, I believe that during this summer window it’s crucial that we keep the core of the squad we have. That includes most of the 7 new signings and our longer serving players, this is because I have a lot of faith in the individuals we have and think the road to success is making the current squad click, not change it all up and starting again. Before last season, I was extremely excited with the signings and the structure of the squad we had, with a lot of depth, experience and young flair, but it didn’t work out as we wanted, the team failed to gel and in the end it cost Andre Villas-Boas his job. But, after having this first season in the Premier League, they are much more experienced and have learnt a lot, ready for them to hopefully, make the impact that we first hoped they would, especially with the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino who has a long history of getting the best out of his players. But, there are definite weaknesses in the squad that we have to address as to push on next season.

INS.
As I said; I don’t want an overhaul of the club and another 7-8 signings, we have extremely strong foundations of a World Class squad, but, in specific places we have to be aware of getting new players to possibly replace some fringe players & some that could unfortunately be sold to raise funds.

Centre Back – We currently have 4 senior centre backs, 5 if you include the promising Zeki Fryers, but Michael Dawson is now 30 and did not have a good season in my view, along with Younes Kaboul is the wrong side of 25 and is extremely unpredictable in both performances and injuries, so I think adding one could really be good for the team & add a bit of youth to the position.

There are a lot of options for centre back, but my favourite would be Southampton’s Dejan Lovren, who had a very good season for the Saints and has the connection with Mauricio Pochettino who brought him into the Premier League. A partnership between Lovren and Vertonghen would be great, wouldn’t it? Lovren is just 24 years old, the same age as Vlad Chiriches, so he also has a big future. In terms of price, I think he’d be worth around £12 million – £15 million, a reasonable price for a player of his age and level after Southampton paid £8 million for his services. I’d also be very happy if we could bring Atletico Madrid’s Toby Alderweireld to the Lane, the 25 year old ex-Ajax defender knows Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen well & we have been heavily linked, both last summer & this year, after he has expressed his disappointment with his game time in Madrid. I think he’d be a stellar option at the back, with his ability to bring the ball out of defence and with his pace. He can also play at right back, so has versatility too.

Other options could include free agent Joleon Lescott, who would be a much less exciting signing, but he has Premier League experience and it’s always a bonus that he would be free, although I’m sure his wages would be quite high. Another, would be Ezequiel Garay, but he would be a much more difficult signing because of the interest he already has from Champions League clubs, but he’s a 27 year old with incredible pedigree, but unlikely I think. Some would suggest Steven Caulker, but personally, I do not think he is at our level and is only being suggested because he’s a product of our academy, plus, I don’t think he’d be willing to play second fiddle again.

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Left Back – Probably the most important position that we strengthen this summer. Danny Rose had a torrid season and although he is only 23 years old, it’s difficult to believe that he will improve to the level that we need him to. So, I believe we should turn to either Swansea City’s Ben Davies, who is just 21 years old & now has 2 years of Premier League experience, performing extremely well & showing incredible promise, & I believe he’d be a brilliant addition, but difficult to obtain because of his personal connection to Swansea City, but it’s certainly someone we should enquire about, I’d speculate that his worth would be around £10million – £15 million.; the other is Ricardo Rodriguez of Wolfsburg, a 21 year old Swiss left back who has been incredible in the Bundesliga, but has a lot of admirers around Europe, so if we could get in early and show strong interest you never know what could happen, he’s an incredible player with a lot of potential, his value would be higher than Davies’, and I’d say the investment would be around £15 million – £20 million.

Other options could be Ajax’s Daley Blind, who is a 24 year old Dutch left back/midfielder who currently plays for Ajax, and his versatility and quality could be a really good addition to the club, but, is again, unlikely because of admirers from clubs in the Champions League. Finally, one other player who maybe, just maybe be possible is Luke Shaw, who although looking highly unlikely, his connection with Mauricio Pochettino could sway the deal in some way, at just 18 years old it would be a fantastic addition but he would be extremely expensive, with Manchester United rumoured to be offering £27 million for his services. As you can see, there are definitely players out there that could fill a gap in our team, & they are young players too who could grow under the leadership of Mauricio Pochettino.

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Left Midfield – We do have quite a few options on the left, Nacer Chadli, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Christian Eriksen & Andros Townsend can all play there, but we lack someone who is an out-and-out left winger who can bring pace and a crossing ability to the team. Eriksen and Sigurdsson both prefer central positions, with Townsend growing into a right midfielder, this leaves Nacer Chadli, who at times last season also looked more comfortable in the centre or the right, but I think over time on the left is where he’ll play. There is a gap. This gap can be filled by quite a few really talented players who I’d like to see at the Lane.

My first & realistic choice would be 24 year old Dnipro & Ukraine winger Yevhen Konoplyanka, who has consistently been linked with a move to Tottenham and has a confirmed buy out clause for foreign clubs such as ourselves of £12 million, which in this market is an absolute bargain for a player who has a high pedigree of talent. Konoplyanka is known for his pace and ability to score a goal, as we saw when we faced Dnipro in last season’s Europa League, he was Dnipro’s outstanding player both home and away, giving our full-backs a torrid time. Of course, there are other options if this deal were to go pear-shaped or Liverpool decide to move for his services, & one of the options could be another Southampton player, Jay Rodriguez who was transformed by our new Head Coach into a goal scoring left forward last season, bagging 17 goals. Jay is 24 years of age, so has plenty of time ahead of him to improve, but the thing that obviously holds back this deal is his injury, in which he will be out until October because of a torn ACL. Surely this would put the deal into jeopardy, as paying big money for a player that’s return is unpredictable is something Daniel Levy normally wouldn’t do, although maybe this injury could force Southampton to sell at a lower price, I’d say he’d be worth around £10 million.

Other players that could tempt Baldini or Pochettino’s fancy could be Mauricio’s former captain at Southampton, Adam Lallana, who has been heavily tipped with a move away from the Saints, & of course speculation is rife that his relationship with Pochettino could sway Lallana’s decision to leave Southampton for Tottenham, instead of Liverpool. The 26 year old midfielder can play on the left, the right and through the middle and is rumoured to have an asking price of £20 million and rising, possibly close to £30 million depending on his performance for England at the World Cup. Last summer, we were heavily linked with Brazil winger Bernard, who eventually moved to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine for for £21.5 million, but recent quotes suggest it’s not exactly his dream to play in Ukraine and would be interested in a move to the Premier League, possibly sparking our interest.

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Striker – In January, we agreed to sell Jermain Defoe to Toronto, and he left the club in March, so we decided not to buy a replacement at the time, and stuck with Roberto Soldado, Emmanuel Adebayor and Harry Kane. Now, with rumours and speculation of the sales of Emmanuel Adebayor possibly to Monaco, & Roberto Soldado a possibility to leave for Atletico Madrid, it seems we’re going to be in the hunt for a new striker once again. Personally, I’d like to keep hold of both Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado, but if we want to sign a new striker funds may need to be amassed, and that could mean their sales, or one of their sales.

My number one target for the striker position is Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony, the 25 year old Ivorian scored 25 goals last season in all competitions for the Swans, cementing himself as one of the best signings of last summer, & I believe he could be the striker we’ve been missing for a long time, with his link up play being exceptional and having that clinical touch which is now proven in the Premier League after being outstanding in Holland. A right handful for any defender and can grow at just 25 years of age, it’s said Bony has an expensive price tag on his head, though, with some reports saying only £25 million would prise him away from the Welsh club. Another option, although seemingly unlikely has to be Chelsea and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, who has had a good season with Everton on loan, it could be time someone took him off Chelsea’s hands and he can have a permanent club who love him very much. At just 21 years of age, Lukaku has a massive future ahead of him, being Belgium’s number 1 striker and scoring 35 goals in 2 Premier League seasons, proving his suitability to the Premier League, the question is, after proving himself, do Chelsea want to let him go? It seems after the expected signing of Diego Costa, Romelu Lukaku could be up for grabs, & I reckon we could, just could have a shot for around £20 million.

Other options up front include 20 year old Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi, who plays at Standard Liege, with comparisons between himself at Lukaku, & a reported £8 million fee wanted from Standard Liege, he could be a striker that could grow eventually into our first striker, & is someone I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to taking an ever so slight gamble on, plus he has a definite resale price, which is right up Daniel Levy’s street. Another player who has been constantly linked with Tottenham over the years is Loic Remy, the 27 year old QPR striker had a very good season with Newcastle on loan and I know some would be very happy to see the Frenchman who’s going to the World Cup this summer, grace the Lane next season. I am unsure on Remy, but if we could get a deal at around £8 million, I wouldn’t have many qualms.

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There is a lot of talent up for grabs, & without a doubt Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini and Mauricio Pochettino will be searching throughout the market for the players to improve the Tottenham squad, so if you’re reading Franco, have a little look at the players I’ve mentioned, eh?

OUTS.
In every transfer window, especially for a big club like Tottenham, players need to be let go. The reasons are differ but the fact is it’s ruthless, because you have to make difficult decisions for the best of the whole squad, which may mean getting rid of fan favourites, good quality players & those that could have a big future. In other cases, it’s the fact the players just aren’t good enough, or don’t fit into the way you want your squad to look. In this transfer window, I hope that we won’t be too ruthless, & I hope we keep what I have already said is the core of a World Class squad, but there are some players that can be let go, to help the team improve, not in depth, but in quality.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto – I think time is up on Benny’s adventure with Tottenham. He’s had great years at the club, but now, he’s not at the level we need him to be, to be our number 1 left back, or even a back up at the age of 30. I’m sure a Premier League club would be willing to buy him permanently, and for £5 million or so I would say goodbye and thank you without hesitation.

Danny Rose – It’s been a difficult season for Danny Rose, after a good loan move with Sunderland he’s found it difficult to adapt to the level we would have wanted him at. A new left back is in order, & some may say, getting rid of Assou-Ekotto and Danny Rose leaves us dry, but I believe Zeki Fryers could well be a very good back up for a new left back at the age of 21, and with Mauricio Pochettino’s emphasis on youth he could well turn to Zeki Fryers. I’m sure Rose would have a host of buyers, at a Premier League level, and I’d let go happily for around £6 million – £8 million.

Jake Livermore – It’s more of when than if with Jake Livermore leaving Tottenham. He’s had a great year at Hull City and deserves to play regular first team football, and it’s a simple fact that he won’t get that at Tottenham. Hull City could well buy him after his loan spell there, & he has said he would be more than willing to make his move to the KC Stadium a permanent one. Reports suggest Tottenham will ask for around £8 million for the 24 year olds services.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – I say this with a heavy heart. I like Sigurdsson a lot and believe he has tremendous ability, technique and mental attitude, but it hasn’t really clicked at Tottenham, as he hasn’t been given a sustained place in the starting line up in his favoured central role. It could be possible that we loan Sigurdsson, to se how he does playing regular football at a Premier League team, but at 24, I think Tottenham could look for a permanent sale, and I’m definite he’d have a host of teams interested in his signature. I like Gylfi a lot, but it is a choice between him, Holtby & Chadli on who goes and I think I’d prefer Sigurdsson to go than the previous two.

Roberto Soldado – I’m undecided on this one. Part of me says, get rid, get the funds and buy a striker that seems to suit us better, but another side of me thinks that we should keep him, as with all our new 7 signings, & let him have another season in the Premier League to prove himself. Although, he is 29 and I can’t see him improving too much. I’d put Soldado down as a possibility of leaving, with Atletico rumoured to be interested in his services, and I’d probably let him go at the £15 million – £18 million mark.

Other players I’d let go include Jonathan Obika, Iago Falque, Ryan Mason & Grant Hall after their loan spells last season – read about our loan player’s last season HERE. Players that I don’t want to leave who you may think aren’t good enough, or it’s time to get rid include Kyle Naughton, who I think being on the bench is fine as a good back up to Walker and at left back, Michael Dawson, our captain who I think deserves more respect from our fan base, and I’m sure he’d be happy to stay and sit on the bench too, playing in the cup games; Aaron Lennon who I believe still has something to offer Tottenham, and again, is a good back up player for the squad & Lewis Holtby who I think deserves a season with Tottenham to prove his worth to the fans and the new manager.

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It’s simply crucial that Tottenham hang on to their best players this summer. It is paramount to any sort of success that the club want to get this coming season and it will make Mauricio Pochettino’s job ever so easier.

Hugo Lloris – Our best player. World Class and my player of the year last season. It’s so important that Mauricio gets Hugo on side in his project and pushes on with him as an integral part of the squad and dressing room. We have to do everything to keep hold of Lloris, as in my opinion he is our only irreplaceable player and earns the team at least 10 points a season, he’s that good. Thankfully, it seems Lloris is happy to stay and doesn’t want a move back to France, so that holds us in good stead ahead of this summer. Part of me doesn’t want him to do well in the World Cup, just so the interest dies down! I truly believe Hugo will stay.

Jan Vertonghen – Thankfully, Jan has confirmed that he will ‘definitely’ be staying at Tottenham, which is fantastic news for the club. Jan is a leader & a wonderfully gifted player who brings so much to the team. He didn’t have a good season last season, but I truly believe without injuries he’ll further improve, & he can become a crucial part of the team once more. Get him a new contract.

Christian Eriksen – Along with Vertonghen, Eriksen has confirmed he doesn’t want to leave Tottenham after just 1 season, which is excellent news for us, although I never doubted that he would leave as he’s not the type from my eyes to just give up at the first hurdle. Obviously, Eriksen is going to only improve next season and I can’t wait to see him in Pochettino’s team. Hopefully, we will build the team around him for years to come.

Erik Lamela – An injury hit season for our record signing. At just 22 years of age, Lamela has a massive future at White Hart Lane and it’s of paramount importance that we don’t let him go after one disrupted season. Under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino I really believe Lamela could be one of our most important players next season on the right hand side. It’s important Lamela has a good pre-season and goes into next season fit and raring to go.

Others who are going to be crucial that I really want the club to keep are most of our summer signings last season, including Paulinho, Vlad Chiriches, Etienne Capoue & Nacer Chadli. I believe all have big roles to play at the club.

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Conclusions.
It’s going to be busy, unpredictable and extremely exciting. It always is with Tottenham in transfer windows, but I hope we can get our business done swiftly and have an undisrupted pre-season in which Pochettino can implement his ideas on the team and we can start the season ready with a team that compete with the top. It will always be the aim to get top four, but, this season, all I want is for the team to play with dignity, passion & good football, & if they could win something that would be fantastic.

What are your thoughts? Who should we sign, who should we sell and who should we keep? Leave a comment below, subscribe and follow me on twitter – @AddictedToSpurs. COYS!!

Transfer Window Review – January 2014

We didn’t sign anyone this transfer window, there were calls from fans to sign another striker and a left back, but we did neither and I think that is due to many things. Personally, I am not disappointed we didn’t sign anyone, if anything I am pleased we didn’t panic and shake the squad up even more, which certainly isn’t needed. What we need, which is what Sherwood thinks, is our injured players to return to the pitch and give a big push until the end of the season for Champions League football, that’s the aim, we’ve got the players to do that. We need them to perform and get us there.

The teams around us didn’t do a lot of business:

Manchester City and Liverpool signed nobody! City maybe didn’t need anyone, but I think Liverpool needed at least 1-2 players for squad depth.

Manchester United signed Mata, which although is a brilliant signing you could say they didn’t particularly need him, I think there are a lot of other areas of the pitch they needed to strengthen.

Arsenal only signed Kallstrom on loan. In my opinion probably needing a striker.

Everton made two signings, Lacina Traore on loan and Aiden McGeady, two good signings though.

Chelsea were busy, but sold Mata, signed Salah and Matic with Zouma coming in and being loaned out straight away.

What other teams did shows that the January window isn’t a good time to make signings, especially long term signings, for us, signing nobody showed that nobody worth buying was there. I can’t think of many realistic signings that would hugely improve or improve our squad at all.

Our departures in January…

Jermain Defoe to Toronto for £6 million. – Expected departure, he’s here to stay until March, will be sad to see him leave as he has been a great player for us over the years. We’ll have a great send off for him in his last few games.

Simon Dawkins to Derby for an undisclosed fee. – After being on loan and impressing, the 24 year old has finally left Spurs permanently, good luck to him, was never going to get the chance at the Lane.

Shaquile Coulthirst to Leyton Orient on loan. – The young striker has impressed for our youth side, now he gets the chance to strut his stuff and score some goals with some experience under his belt!

Jon Obika to Brighton on loan. – Forever on loan, now 23 years old, it doesn’t seem he’s got a future at Spurs. It’s a chance for him to score goals to secure a permanent deal away from Spurs I presume.

Ryan Fredericks to Millwall on loan. – Big future for Ryan at the club, he has also signed a new deal at Spurs until 2017 and this loan will be great for him, I’ve been really impressed with him for the U21s and for the first team. Now he can gain some experience and get into the first team next season.

Adam Smith to Bournemouth for an undisclosed fee. – Upsetting it hasn’t worked out for Adam at Spurs, after a few appearances in the first team some thought he could be direct back up to Kyle Walker, but with the emergence of Fredericks it seems he’s no longer needed in the future.

Lewis Holtby on loan to Fulham. – I’m glad Holtby can get first team football in the Premier League, he deserves that. A brilliant player who will probably keep Fulham in the League, he needs to show his quality at the Whites and then come back to Tottenham next season even better and even stronger. I still have confidence Lewis has a big future at Spurs. I’ll miss him for the rest of the season though!

The deals that never materialised.

Dimitar Berbatov to Spurs. – Dimitar ended up at Monaco on Deadline Day permanently from Fulham! After being heavily linked, it is reported Sherwood said no to possibly signing the Bulgarian striker. I was on the fence about his signing, on one hand he is a player who disrespected our club greatly when leaving to Manchester United, on the other hand he was still the player that made my mouth-water when I watched. Difficult to chose. But, it’s not happened, so we don’t have to worry about the backlash!

Etienne Capoue to Napoli. – The deal didn’t go through! Yay! I’m happy he’s stayed, been one of our better signings, early on he was incredible for us, now he gets to stay and continue his time at the club. Good news, although I must say I thought he would depart. Maybe his goal against Manchester City persuaded Sherwood to keep him!

Conclusion.

Nothing special! Not many shocks and not any incomings. Some may have wanted a left back or a striker but I fully believe we have the squad to compete heavily for the top four places. Thank God it’s all over, we can fully concentrate of football. No excuses now! Let’s have a right crack at it! COYS!!

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Transfer Window Review Summer 2013.

Incomings.

Paulinho, 25 years old, £17 million, Central midfielder – We started off our summer spending by breaking our transfer record for Brazilian box-to-box midfielder Paulinho. The Corinthians hero became a nailed on target during the Confeds Cup and during that competition he gained massive praise and showed his worth of £17 million.

Nacer Chadli, 24 years old, £7 million, Winger – We continued our summer signings with FC Twente winger Nacer Chadli, he showed his desire to move to Spurs by turning down Swansea and Russian clubs. The transfer came out of nothing as most didn’t think we needed wingers, but he was brought in for a cut price for someone described as ‘the best in the Dutch league’, another Belgian too!

Roberto Soldado, 28 years old, £26 million, Striker – We broke our transfer record once again for Valencia and Spain striker Roberto Soldado. After all this time without a top striker and the pressure from the fans to spend big on one, Levy finally delivered a beauty. A proven goalscorer at Spurs, finally. The deal was long, but it got through in the end to everyone’s delight.

Etienne Capoue, 25 years old, £9 million, Defensive midfielder – Etienne came in out of the blue. We had all thought our midfield was full, but AVB believed we needed more depth and so we brought in the Toulouse and France ‘tank’ midfielder as a back up to Sandro. He may well surpass Sandro’s level as he has seriously impressed. He is very highly rated in France.

Vlad Chiriches, 23 years old, £8.5 million, Centre back – This transfer was more of a saga. Early in the window it looked most certainly off as the owner of Vlad’s now former club, Stuea Bucuresti cancelled the deal spectacularly. Later in the window, we continued to push for the Romanian international and pushed it through for a Romanian record £8.5 million. We were short at centre back so this was needed.

Erik Lamela, 21 years old, £30 million, Right winger – We smashed our transfer record once again in the summer window with the signing of Roma forward Erik Lamela. Another long and drawn out saga that needed our technical director Franco Baldini to be in top form to bring him in. Lamela is one of the brightest young stars in world football and so is a massive deal for us. The ‘next Gareth Bale’ already being mentioned.

Christian Eriksen, 21 years old, £11.5 million, Attacking midfielder – The lack of creativity was a certain concern amongst Spurs fans, we missed out on Willian who went to Chelsea and were lacking in chances, Eriksen was then brought in rather quickly for a bargain price of £11.5 million from Ajax. The Danish youngster has been on the radar of all the top clubs and has the potential to be a world class player.

Total Price of incoming players = £109 million.

Outgoings.

Steven Caulker, 21 year old centre back, £9 million to Cardiff. – Many fans thought this was a shock exit. The young and promising English centre back who had, had a decent first season at Spurs was sold in a relatively good deal for £9 million to Cardiff. Our centre backs were settled, but AVB may have saw the opportunity to sell a player wanting regular first team football and buy an arguably better player in Chiriches for a cheaper price. Good business I think.

Clint Dempsey, 30 year old attacking midfielder, £6 million to Seattle – The player that completely cut Spurs fans down the middle. Some fans loved him, some fans loathed him. A ‘panic buy’ on Deadline Day some may say. He gave us an okay season, but it was time to move on and we got our money back. He was replaced well too. Good luck to him in America.

Tom Huddlestone, 25 year old midfielder, £5 million to Hull City – Tommy has had a great few years at Spurs, but it was the right time for him to move on. He didn’t have the pace for our game. He wanted to move on for guaranteed game time, and this was something Hull could certainly give him. We got a decent amount of money for an injury prone player. Good signing for Hull and a good deal all round.

Scott Parker, 32 year old midfielder, £3 million to Fulham – Hard as nails. Proper old fashioned hard tackling midfielder. Not a player AVB really needs in his system. He wasn’t good enough on the ball for our game and can be classed as deadwood. Slightly small fee, but for a 32 year old, it’s an okay deal. We replaced him very well in Capoue. Fulham have a player who will give his all!

Gareth Bale, 24 year old forward, £86 million to Real Madrid – The deal of the summer. One that we didn’t want to go through. Our best player went to Real Madrid in a world record deal. It went on for a very long time and after being adamant he wouldn’t be going anywhere, the pressure from the player was too much and we had to let him go. Think we got a good price! Whether this is a good deal we’ll wait and see. We’ll miss him for sure.

Loans: Assou-Ekotto, QPR. Tom Carroll, loan. Adam Smith, Derby. Jake Livermore, Hull. Bongani Khumalo, Doncaster. Grant Hall, Swindon. Alex Pritchard, Swindon. Ryan Mason, Swindon.

Total price of outgoings = £109 million.

Summary.

We’ve had a stunning transfer window. We’ve spent a shed load of money on top quality and overall improved our squad into one that can challenge not only for the top four, but possibly for the title. We spent the most money in the Premier League this season, but in reality we’ve actually made a profit. I guess only Levy could do that.

High Point. – The last Friday of the transfer window must be the best moment of the window. We brought in Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Vlad Chiriches for £50 million. Truly great day.

Low Point. – The sale of Gareth Bale. Even though we may have known it was coming, it still hurt all the same. Our best player gone. We move on, but that wasn’t a good day by any means.

Surprise Incoming. – Erik Lamela. The pure calibre of the player made it a shock. To smash our transfer record for the third time in the window and bring in the perfect replacement for Bale.

Surprise player to stay. – I certainly thought Adebayor would leave us this window. He remains a Tottenham player and so will certainly have to up his game to challenge Soldado. Hopefully he can regain his old form.

Hopefully this transfer window holds us in good stead for the season ahead and puts us well up there! COYS!!

I’m going to miss him. Spurs are going to miss him. The Premier League are going to miss him. Gareth Bale.

It’s finally confirmed. Gareth Bale has joined Real Madrid in a world record £85 million deal. The 24 year old from Wales has completed his ‘dream move’ to Spain, and has taken all the challenges that come with that.

First of all, the situation we faced this transfer window. At the start of the window, it was certain he would stay at Spurs another season and help us achieve our goals of Champions League football. The stance from the board was that he was, and I quote, ‘Not for sale.’ We continued this stance and it seemed as though Bale was happy to stay for another season. Everyone was very, very happy about this. Then, the stories from Spain started to gather pace, Sky Sports News and their sources started spurting out news on how Bale’s stance was beginning to change. Spurs remained clear in their stance that he was not for sale at any price. More and more stories. Back page of every newspaper every day. Madrid talking about how much they admired Gareth, and would love him to join them. Trying to force Gareth into forcing a transfer from Spurs, unsuccessfully at first, but more and more stories came, more and more of Madrid’s players and staff started talking about Bale. In my opinion, this forced the transfer. Bale’s head was now well and truly turned and Madrid was the only thing in his mind. The deal was done, and that was that. Bye Bye Bale.

I’m going to miss the him. Spurs are going to miss him. The Premier League are going to miss him.

Gareth Bale is one of the best players to grace the hallowed turf at White Hart Lane. The ability he has is just unbelievable. A unique talent. The way he can control the ball while running at such incredible pace leaving defender after defender in his wake is something I will never forget I saw. Last season, he started scoring more and more goals and became the complete player. When a game wasn’t going your way, he would pop up and score a stunner to win you the three points. Watching him in action, live, with my own eyes is something I will cherish until the day I die. He was and is that good.

Gareth spent seven years with us. He had his downs, many of them, but he had so many ups. The hat-trick in Milan is a night I’ll always remember him for, the night he announced himself on the world stage as a superstar. Many more moments of magic followed. He was and I hope he still will be beloved by the fans of Tottenham. The players loved him, AVB loved him. Him as a person will be sorely missed, his character, his charm and his determination to succeed are things that just put him above the rest. I can’t tell you how much I will miss having him at White Hart Lane.

Bale has completed what would be a dream move for any player. To play at arguably the greatest club in the world, to play with Cristiano Ronaldo, at the Santiago Bernabeu it’s quite amazing really. I’m Spurs through and through, and if I was in his position I’d still find it so hard to turn down.

In my mind, there is no doubt he will be a success at Real Madrid. He is absolutely outstanding and will show his class on the pitch. His determination to succeed will help him a lot off the field. With all the politics with Ronaldo, Madrid and all his ‘Brand Bale’ work, he will strive to be an even better player than he already is, and I believe that is completely possible. Learning the new language and settling in a new country will take time, but I’m sure he’ll make it work, and for him I really hope it does.

This lad is something special. Someone who can be the best if he gives it his all. It’s been a pleasure, Gareth. You were born to play for Spurs, and I hope you always remember that.

We move on as a club and I’m sure another star will emerge soon enough. Erik Lamela, your time is now.

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Christian Eriksen, the creative spark?

Yet another signing in the transfer window for Spurs, that now takes their spending to over £100 million. We’ve signed Christian Eriksen from Ajax in a reported £11.5 million deal. The player has signed a 4 year contract, with the option of another year. Eriksen is a 21, attacking midfielder from Denmark and has been looked at by many big clubs before, including Manchester City, who he himself turned down. Eriksen has been tipped by many to be a star in the future.

Eriksen is a creative player, and I think we needed this type of player who can play in the number ten role off the striker. Someone who can spot a pass, and open the game up. Soldado has been lacking in chances, so the need for a playmaker was very clear. We have Holtby, who I think can do that job as he has showed at Schalke, he can spot a pass. We also have Sigurdsson, but he is not creative enough for the number ten role. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gylfi offloaded.

We certainly needed a creative player, but is Eriksen the man? We were linked with former Anji player Willian, and he is top class. He was that creative spark we needed. Sadly, we missed out on him to Chelsea as they gazumped us with the fee and wages. £30 million was the fee, so it was a little steep. Eriksen has now been brought in, for £11.5 million which is considerably less than Willian, but bare in mind Christian was in the last year of his contract. In my opinion, Willian is the better player, but there is no reason that Eriksen can’t become the better player in the future as he is younger.

Eriksen is a player who can pick a pass in tight spaces. He is great with the ball at feet in tight areas, so will always ask for the ball. He’s an option constantly throughout the game. He can certainly score goals, with 10 last season in the Dutch league. He can take free kicks, and is a set piece specialist and this is something we may need if Bale and Sigurdsson were to leave. Eriksen is skilful on the ball and has very tricky feet, and it should be a joy to watch in the Premier League. Eriksen lacks strength, he could be bullied in the Premier League, but with players like Mata, Oscar, Silva and Modric all to succeed before him, he will be fine, I’m sure.

I have had my doubts as to whether Eriksen was the one to come in, but I think I was comparing him to the player Willian is, who is much older and more experienced. I have faith in the players AVB and Baldini bring in, and I’m sure he’ll help us reach our goals in the future. Welcome to Spurs, Christian Eriksen!

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A new Superstar at Spurs. Erik Lamela.

Isn’t this just amazing? We had broken our transfer window twice already this window on Paulinho and Soldado, and now we’ve gone a done it again. Erik Lamela has joined Spurs in a huge £30 million deal from AS Roma. The 21 year old right winger from Argentina has signed a 5 year deal at the club, and he will be looking to make his debut in the massive occasion that is the North London Derby.

Gareth Bale is 99% sure to be leaving for Real Madrid in a world record deal, so Erik Lamela can be classed as Bale’s direct replacement. The two players are similar in the way they play. Power, pace, goals, assists and that decisive edge that can win you games in an instant. Lamela is in my eyes the perfect replacement for Bale, and the fact he is only 21 years of age, means he will continue to grow, and one day I believe he can surpass the ability of Gareth Bale.

Erik is such a quality player. He has many attributes that make him one of the most sought after and highly rated young players in the world. His dribbling, at such a young age, is some of the best in the world, he completed the most dribbles in the Serie A last season, and with players like El Shaarawy, Adem Ljajic, and Hernanes to name a few, that’s quite amazing . He’s very powerful in his dribbling, so he can burst through players, while keeping close control. It’s very good to watch. He also has the ability to change games quickly, with a goal or an assist. He saved Roma quite a bit last season.

Lamela scored 15 goals last season from the right side of an attacking trio. He also assisted 5 times. For a 21 year old, these stats are quite amazing. Erik is still quite a raw player, and has quite a way to go before he can be considered a complete player that he wants to become. His idol being his more than complete Argentine compatriot, Diego Maradona. He wants to emulate how good he became, and he has the potential to become as good as he wants. Hopefully he does it all with Spurs!

In Lamela’s first season in England, he will need time to settle into the pace of the game, as it is much more intense than in Italy, but I’m sure he can do this relatively quickly. An early goal in his Spurs career and I’m sure it’ll set up a great season for him. Big shout this from me, I’d tip him for player of the year if the odds are good. He’s a young player, so he’s got time on his side to fulfil his amazing potential. Who needs Bale anyway when you’ve got Lamela? That’s what I want to be saying come the end of the season. I expect big things from our record singing.

Lamela fits in perfectly to the style AVB plays. He likes big powerful players in his whole team, who are technically gifted, and competent on the ball. That’s the system Lamela played at Roma, so he can fit in well to AVB’s plans. Whether we play 4-3-3, or 4-2-3-1 is still unknown as we have yet to conclude our business. A front three of Townsend – Soldado – Lamela is really quite astonishing, and that’s missing out Lennon and Chadli!

There are still more signings to come this window, but we’ve done a great job so far in the market. Hopefully Erik settles in quickly and I’m sure he’ll be a fan favourite soon enough! 10-15 goals this season from Lamela with Soldado’s goals and we’ll (hopefully) be strolling into the top four.

Welcome, Lamela! COYS!

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Welcome to Spurs, Vlad Chiriches!

Yet another signing in what is turning out to be a quite stunning transfer window. Vlad Chiriches has joined from Stuea Bucuresti in a Romanian record, £8.5 million deal. Chiriches is a 23 year old centre back, with 19 caps for the Romanian national side. Vlad has signed a 5 year deal with Spurs. His nickname in Romania was ‘The Impaler’, so you can already tell he’s a brute!

With the sale of Steven Caulker to Cardiff in a £9million deal, we were quite light at the back with only three first team centre backs available. AVB has stated his desire to bring in another centre back, because he believes you need at least four top class centre halves in a team challenging for honours such as Tottenham, and I must say I agree. We seemed to have captured Vlad from Bucuresti earlier on in the transfer window, but Stuea’s somewhat crazy owner cancelled the deal from his jail cell. Madness! We continued to pursue the big Romanian, and finally, although late on, have captured him. To everyone’s delight.

Compared to Caulker, Chiriches is much more of a modern centre back. He comes forward with the ball, and tries to set up attacks when he can, a bit like one of our current centre backs Jan Vertonghen. On the ball, Vlad is composed, and elegant, and this suits our style of play a lot. To say whether he is better than Caulker is still not known, as the Premier League is obviously a much harder league than in Romania. Vlad ‘The Impaler’ has been praised by a lot of the top clubs in Europe, including Jose Mourinho, who said if he were a couple of inches taller, he would have taken him to Madrid. High praise indeed. He will need to settle in quickly, and get his mind right, and his ability on the field will show.

I don’t think Chiriches will be a starter. He’s not yet at the level of Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul or Michael Dawson, but he will get games in the many competitions we are in such as the Europa League, Capital One Cup and the FA Cup. He is great back up, especially as Kaboul is coming back from a long term injury, and so may be a little fragile. Chiriches can also play at full back, he covers left back and right back, this can only be good for our squad depth. It will help out in the long run I’m sure.

Great to have Chiriches on board, and still more signings to come. Looking forward to a great season! COYS!

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Etienne Capoue, the French Tank.

Yet another signing in what has been a brilliant window so far. Etienne Capoue has joined Spurs from Toulouse in a reported £9 million deal and a 4 year contract. The 25 year old French international known as the ‘French Tank’ back in his homeland is a centre defensive midfielder, but can also dip into the centre back position when required.

Competion.

Etienne will have to work hard to gain a place in the first team, with the quality we have in this area, but he will give our starters a run for their money, and this is always good. Squad depth and competition for places is needed when you build a squad trying to challenge for top honours. Capoue plays in the same position as Sandro, and it is now a battle between them for the starting spot.

Needed?

Personally, I think Capoue was needed. With Huddlestone leaving to Hull, Livermore to Hull on loan, and Scott Parker looking to be out the door, there is a definite space for Capoue. He is a better player than those three, and a France international, so it is good business to offload them and bring in Etienne in my opinion. We already had a very strong competition for places in the midfield with Holtby, Sigurdsson and Carroll, but they are much more attacking players. We lacked a back up for Sandro, and I’m very glad we now have it.

Attributes.

Capoue is a tank. He is so strong, with and without the ball. He can sit in front of the defence and make key tackles and interceptions. He made more successful interceptions than Mousa Dembele, Frank Lampard and Tom Cleverley combined last year in France, which shows you how important he is defensively. He scored 7 goals last season for Toulouse, and for a defensive midfielder/centre back, this is very impressive. A definite threat from set pieces. Experts on the game in France say he was the best player in the league last year apart from PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which is massive praise indeed. Also, the Toulouse president explained Capoue as the best player Toulouse have produced in 20 years.

Summary.

This signing could turn out as a shrewd move from Daniel Levy and AVB, as he is highly rated in France, and with the World Cup coming up for Capoue he will want to show what he can do, and be starting regularly. A hard task, but it seems as though he has the ability to really push Sandro, Paulinho and Dembele for their starting berth.

Another signing, and more to come. Looking good for the new season. COYS!

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Finally a Striker.

We’ve reached an agreement with Valencia for the transfer of Roberto Soldado, subject to a medical. The transfer went on for a lot longer than we wanted, but it’s done now, and we can celebrate having a top class striker at the Lane, finally! We’ve broken our transfer record for the second time this Summer, £26 million the fee, surpassing the £17 million we paid for Paulinho.

We have been linked with every striker possible this Summer. The list is endless, but the main candidates were always, David Villa, Christian Benteke, and Roberto Soldado. All three strikers have immense quality, and I would have been thrilled with either one, and thankfully we have one, Roberto Soldado. I think he is the most natural striker out of the three, and he’s a striker in his prime, so I think there is a strong argument that we have signed the best one out of the three.

Soldado is a natural number 9. He has immense finishing ability, that aspect of his game is world class, he also works hard upfront, and makes good runs off the shoulder of the defence. He is a goal scorer, plain and simple; he can score 20+ goals a season, as he has proven in Spain and for Spain. Everyone knows we lacked goals from up front last season, and we have now solved that problem with the signing of Roberto Soldado.

Soldado will work very well in the 4-3-3 formation that AVB prefers. He can hold up the play and include others in the attack, he’s decent in the air, but that isn’t his best attribute by a long way. With players like Chadli, Lennon, and (hopefully) Bale, he will score a tonne of goals. I’m sure he’ll fit in perfectly at Spurs, and the fans will love him as soon as he scores his first goal. Looking forward to that!

At Valencia, Soldado was their best, and most loved player. Their captain, and their hero. He scored 59 goals in 101 appearances for Valencia, a great record. He also scored 24 goals in 35 appearances last season, with is exactly what we need from him this season. As I said, he’s a goalscorer. You could say £26 million is quite a bit to pay for a 28 year old, but he is a goal scorer, and that’s (sadly) what they cost nowadays. If we want top quality, we have to pay top dollar, that’s the reality.

Welcome to the Lane, Roberto Soldado! Lets hope we can have a great year. COYS!!

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