An article written by an experienced journalist over the weekend provides a worrying explanation for Tottenham’s intention to be involved in limited transfer activity during the final days of this month’s transfer window. If the detail contained in the report proves to be accurate, it would appear that the message from Daniel Levy to Andre Villas-Boas and his team is – it’s more of the same, keep going, you’re doing a good job, we’ve got faith in the current squad and we’re relying on you for a Champions League finish.
Duncan Castles, a freelance journalist who writes for a number of newspapers including the Sunday Times, posted an on-line article, on sula.com, about La Liga in which he suggested that Spurs are planning to sell Gareth Bale in the summer to finance the purchase of a top class striker. In the meantime, even though there are funds available from last summer’s sale of Luka Modric, Daniel Levy does not intend to make any purchases over £10 million, thus ruling out some of the top names linked with Tottenham over the past month. Leandro Damiao from Internacional and Joao Moutinho from Porto would be well beyond Spurs’ reach.
- That Tottenham are considering selling Bale to fund transfers is a concern. It is generally accepted that Tottenham will have to sell Bale but it’s not something they should be considering, rather the club should be working to ensure they can retain him for as long as possible and not encourage the top clubs to make a bid. He has agreed a long contract and so Tottenham don’t have to consider an immediate sale.
- As happened twelve months ago, Tottenham appear unlikely to invest to try and ensure Champions League football next season. Last season’s loss of form from February cost the club dearly as they missed out on qualification when Chelsea went on to lift the trophy. The absence of Spurs from the Champions League in 2011-12 had an adverse affect on their finances as they have just posted a loss of over £4 million. Spurs have also dropped two places in the Deloitte Football Money League, which has attributed the fall in finances to the club’s non-participation in the top competition in European football.
In his article, Castles has reported that rather than accept a cheaper alternative, manager Andre Villas-Boas has suggested retaining funds until the end of the season when the Brazilian striker may be obtainable.
- The injury to Sandro has provided Tottenham with an additional and unexpected problem and as anticipated, the permanent signing of Lewis Holtby from Schalke has been completed now rather than be delayed until the summer. Holtby was signed for a fee of £1.25 million and will provide additional options in midfield.
From a fans’ perspective, it is disappointing that Tottenham who are again attempting to break into the top four in the Premier league are hoping to achieve it without further investment. They missed out on a Champions League finish last season, admittedly in unforeseen circumstances, but from a much stronger position at the end of the January transfer window. The FA Cup defeat at Leeds leaves Spurs with only two targets for the remainder of the season but with a number of questions about the strength and character of the squad.
Jermain Defoe’s absence due to injury clearly illustrated the foolhardy approach of having only two experienced strikers, reduced to one with Emmanuel Adebayor at the Africa Cup of Nations. It was clearly evident in August that Spurs lacked options for strikers but the problem was not addressed and could return to haunt Tottenham in the coming months. Spurs were fortunate that Defoe avoided injury in first half of the season but to continue with only the limited resources available to Villas-Boas is asking for trouble. Strikers win matches, their goals are crucial as Robin van Persie has shown over the past number of seasons at Arsenal and now with Manchester United.
In the last two games Spurs dearth of strikers has been plain to see. Late in the draw with United, looking for an equaliser the manager had no strikers on the bench and at Elland Road, two goals down, he was preparing to introduce a 22 year old substitute as Clint Dempsey pulled a goal back. Jonathan Obika who was then brought on has made two previous appearances for Spurs in UEFA Cup ties in 2009. Since then he has been out on loan with lower League clubs.
A club with aspirations for Champions League football can not expect to be successful if it doesn’t invest appropriately to afford the manager and the players every opportunity to obtain the objective for the season.
Over To You!
Is Daniel Levy right in his approach to this January’s transfer window?
Can Tottenham make the Champions League with the current squad?