Last week HotspurHQ ran a poll to determine Tottenham’s best signing of last season. In a field of quality signings, three players dominated the voting – central defender Jan Vertonghen, central midfielder Mousa Dembele and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Together they claimed 98% of the total votes cast.
Jan Vertonghen was the runaway winner, recognised by almost 75% of supporters as Tottenham’s best signing of season 2012-13. Hugo Lloris was in second place with 17% while Mousa Dembele was third with 7%.
Vertonghen who had captained Ajax to the previous season’s title in Holland as well as claiming the Player of the Year award carried on at Spurs where he had left off with Ajax. He displayed his versatility being accomplished in central defence whoever he partnered, then moving across to play at left back when required and showed his creative ability when moving forward into midfield with a goalscoring touch as well, scoring 6 goals during the season. He had a calming influence in defence and as a footballing central defender, was an ideal replacement for Ledley King who retired last summer. With time, Vertonghen may well step up to follow in King’s footsteps as captain of Tottenham.
Jan Vertonghen was a player who wanted to come to Tottenham even when Spurs were searching for a new manager last summer. The Belgian international insisted that White Hart Lane was his chosen destination in the Premier League. For a club without Champions League football that was a bonus and encouragement.
Hugo LlorisSimilarly, with the acquisition of Hugo Lloris from Lyon Spurs achieved something of a coup. The French captain had a number of suitors but it was Tottenham who acquired his services. He has proved himself a very worthy goalkeeper to follow in a long line of excellent Tottenham goalkeepers, including Ted Ditchburn, Bill Brown, Pat Jennings and Ray Clemence. As has been shown in the HotspurHQ poll for the best Tottenham goalkeeper who supporters have seen play, fans have been quick to recognise and acknowledge the quality in Lloris’ performances for Spurs in the past season.
A strong goalkeeper who is not afraid to come for crosses or come out quickly to avert danger, he also has amazing reactions, making many important saves through the season. In the match in Rome against Lazio in the Europa League, he demonstrated his ability as he kept a clean sheet to ensure Spurs took a point which kept them on track to progress from the Group stages of the competition. In the same way as he did in the crucial final home games where Spurs won with the only goal of the game, scored by Gareth Bale, Lloris was alert to any danger and repelled the threat of both Southampton and Sunderland. Lloris is an outstanding goalkeeper and if Spurs can retain him, in the years to come he can prove himself to be up there with the greats of the past.
Mousa DembeleSigned from Fulham, Dembele was a major influence for Spurs from central midfield. He scored on his debut and quickly developed a great understanding with Sandro. He used his strength and power to great effect in those early games and when he returned injured from international duty for Belgium in October with a hip injury, he was greatly missed. The injury to Sandro in January placed a greater burden on Dembele and with added matches in the Europa League it took its toll. Towards the end of the season he wasn’t fully fit and missed a number of games with a niggling injury that needed rest to aid recovery.
Hopefully, all three players will build on last season and if Tottenham can acquire players of similar quality this summer, then Spurs can only go from strength to strength.