It’s like I’ve had a summer-long dream. There has never been a transfer window like it for Tottenham. This year Daniel Levy set aside his customary cautious approach waiting for bargain buys on a hectic final day of transfer activity. Instead he supported Andre Villas-Boas with quality signings, using the knowledge and experience of Franco Baldini with contacts around the globe to finalise deals and bring new players into White Hart Lane while others waited and waited.
The summer’s transfer activity could very easily have been dominated by the transfer of Gareth Bale but rather than wait on that deal coming to a conclusion Tottenham proceeded with their business while Daniel Levy ensured that Tottenham received the best possible deal from the Spanish club. Spurs didn’t give Bale up lightly and when faced with high pressure tactics from Real and the Spanish media stood firm and ensured the deal was completed on their terms and to their timescale.
David Bentley and William Gallas were released at the end of their contracts making room in the squad for new signings. Bentley had contributed little during his time with Spurs, the highlight being his goal against Arsenal and his involvement with the team as they made it into the Champions League in 2010. Gallas brought his vast experience to the defence but had gradually became less involved during last season, age and injury catching up with him.
The end of the Confederations Cup in Brazil coincided with the opening of the transfer window. Tottenham’s buying started with the arrival of Paulinho, the Brazilian central midfield player, from Corinthians. A very powerful player he impressed playing for Brazil during the summer and cost Tottenham a club record fee of £17m. He has made an immediate positive impression in his early matches at White Hart Lane.
Rumours had suggested that Spurs were going to sign the Belgian international Nacer Chadli from FC Twente. It took some time for the deal to be completed but Chadli arrived for a fee of £7m.Search for a Striker
Many names were suggested – Christian Benteke from Aston Villa looked to be on his way when he handed in a transfer request only to sign a new contract a fortnight later. David Villa was all but signed only to remain in Spain with Atletico Madrid. Not everything was going to plan but Roberto Soldado was signed from Valencia after lengthy negotiations for a new record fee of £26m. He has scored 4 goals in his first 4 competitive matches for Spurs.
Etienne Capoue came from Toulouse. The French international cost £8.6m and has brought competition in midfield with the ability to play in the defence as well. He made his debut as a substitute a few days after signing and in those 33 minutes at Selhurst Park showed what he could bring to the Tottenham midfield.
With so many players arriving and more transfer negotiations going on there was a need to reduce the size of the squad. Steven Caulker was sold to newly promoted Cardiff City. Tom Huddlestone went to Hull City with Jake Livermore moving there on a loan deal for the coming season. Scott Parker decided on Fulham and a number of younger players left the club to gain League experience elsewhere or on permanent deals.
Nathan Byrne was transferred to Swindon and four young players went out on a season-long loan to the County Ground – Massimo Luongo, Grant Hall, Ryan Mason and Alex Pritchard. Luongo has now made that a permanent move having made only one appearance for the Tottenham side. He played in the League Cup match at Stoke City in 2011. The match went to penalties and he had come on as a substitute and missed the decisive penalty. Now less than two years later he has left the club – the jinx of Tottenham penalty shoot-outs striking again – just ask Tom Huddlestone. Watch out Emmanuel Adebayor. Best wishes to Luongo at Swindon and in his future career. Mason scored a hat-trick on Saturday for Swindon against Crewe and also missed a penalty.
Under-21 full back Adam Smith joined Derby County on loan for the season and central defender Bongani Khumalo went to Doncaster Rovers on a season-long loan. Yago Falque again went out on loan to Spain, joining La Liga side Rayo Vallecano for the season.
Following the signing of Capoue AVB did warn that the transfer activity wasn’t over and many names appeared in the media as possible targets for Tottenham. Three signings completed in one day showed Tottenham meant business with the arrival of young players with international experience.
- Vlad Chiriches the 23-year-old Romania central defender was signed from Steaua Bucharest for £8m.
- Erik Lamela the 21-year-old Argentina forward completed his move from Roma at a fee of £25.7m
- Christian Eriksen the Danish midfield player joined Tottenham for £11.5m from Ajax.
An amazing day of transfer activity by Tottenham as they progress towards AVB’s goal of a squad with two quality players for every position to provide competition, variety and enable rotation to avoid overuse of certain players and provide cover in case of injury or loss of form.
Would there be more transfer activity in the final 72 hours of the 2013 transfer window?
The “Departed” One
In his press conference following the defeat at the Emirates, Andre Villas-Boas confirmed that the Gareth Bale transfer to Real Madrid had been completed. A statement from Bale appeared on the club website thanking everyone at Tottenham for their support during his time at the club.
I would like to thank everyone at the Club, the Chairman, Board, staff, coaches and players – and most of all the fantastic fans who I hope will understand this amazing career opportunity.
All the best Gareth, thanks for the memories and I hope it goes well for you at Real Madrid. At least he didn’t end up at another Premier League club. It will be interesting to see how the next 28 hours of transfer activity pans out.
No Frantic End to the Transfer Window
Even after all Tottenham’s transfer activity this summer there was still the thought/hope that there might be another signing in the final day but there was no further incoming business completed, with the departures restricted to season-long loan agreements with QPR for Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Tom Carroll. It must have been a very boring day for SkySports top reporter standing outside the Hotspur Way training ground.
AVB Acknowledges Baldini’s Influence
In an article by Duncan Castles in the Sunday Times, he quotes AVB on the influence Baldini has had during the transfer window.
His impact was immediate, the way he moves himself in the market and the knowledge and experience that he has. What has been done this summer is great credit to him. The impact from a technical director is great in a modern-day football club.
The transfers have been completed so now it’s up to AVB to bring them together as a team working as a unit and not as a group of individuals. Unfortunately, he hasn’t got much time as so many will be away on international duty for the next ten days.
It’s been an unexpectedly exciting summer, it wasn’t a dream after all – it really happened so now let’s look forward to an enjoyable season.