Spurs have made many headlines during the past transfer window. This is mostly due to the Gareth Bale saga which saw a world record transfer to Real Madrid. Tottenham fans can be reassured that their owner Daniel Levy and sporting director Franco Baldini have certainly earned their wages over the summer.
It shows the importance of a good structured management team in modern football, most European clubs have a sporting director, this frees the manager to get on with managing the team in this demanding business. Baldini joined Spurs this summer – June 19th to be precise and between himself, Daniel Levy and manager Andre Villas- Boas they have built a young squad that will only get better. They have emerged from the transfer window despite losing Gareth Bale is very good shape.
The six players Spurs let go this summer were almost dead certs to leave. There was no way a club could have turned down around £86m for a player who lets not forget was being linked with loan moves a few years back. Despite that it is testament to how Bale has transformed himself into a magnificent player, he has however only had two and a half good seasons in the Spurs side. Making a £75m profit or so has proved to be very good business especially because of they way Levy and co have re-invested the cash.
That brings us to Steven Caulker. It was a bit of a surprise for me that Caulker was sold to Cardiff with Spurs looking a bit short in the centre-back area. Then there is young Tom Carroll, it’s a good move for him on-loan to QPR to get game time and come back a better player ready for next season, this will help him to challenge for a first-team spot. Benoit Assou-Ekotto was also shipped out on loan and will no doubt leave the club at the end of his loan spell. Scott Parker to QPR also made sense with the replacements Spurs have, and Parker the wrong side of 30. Tom Huddlestone also left White Heart Lane in the summer, he is highly thought of but was just was not going to get enough playing time so a move to Hull City also seemed logical.
The sales of the aforementioned players, more so Bale to Real Madrid allowed Baldini, Levy and Villas-Boas to flex their collective financial muscle and to be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect but they got everyone talking with the plethora of quality players they brought to the football club. Strengthening in almost every area apart from goalkeeper, a position they re more than catered.
They addressed the striking problem for last season shelling out £30m for Spanish international goal machine Roberto Soldado, who certainly is a cut above Defoe and Adebayor .
The midfield area is causing Spurs fans the most excitement. The signings of Erik Lamela and Christain Eriksen from Roma and Ajax for £30m and £12m respectively will certainly excite the White Hart Lane faithful. Both players are young with an eye for goal and pace and flair in abundance. I was very surprised Ajax and Roma did not hold out for more than the collective £42m, I’m sure when they click they will be a freighting duo and a real force to be reckoned with.
Adding to them the signings of wide-man Nacer Chadli from FC Twente who many clubs including Juventus were looking at, and midfielder Paulinho who is a box-to-box midfield powerhouse. Paulinho has shown so far he is up to the challenge in England after his move from Corinthians. The other midfield signing from Toulouse Etienne Capoue found himself in the side and playing well before recently picking up an injury that will keep him out until the new year. Add these five to the players already there like; Lewis Holtby, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Sandro, and Mousa Dembele, means Tottenham have one of the strongest midfields in the league.
Defence was an area they really needed to strengthen and they brought in Vlad Chiriches from Steaua Bucharest, the big defender will certainly add to the numbers and competition for places being able to play centre-back or right-back which in turn may help Kyle Walker re-gain his form after a less than impressive start to the season.
With all of that said Spurs’ aim this year is to finish top four or make a bid to win the title and the Europa League. When the season is over Vilas-Boas and Daniel Levy may look back and think the best signing they made all summer was the man who was central to all these deals – Franco Baldini.