Andre Villas-Boas will be faced with a large squad of experienced players when they return for pre-season trai..."/> Andre Villas-Boas will be faced with a large squad of experienced players when they return for pre-season trai..."/>

Which Players Will Leave Tottenham This Summer?


Andre Villas-Boas will be faced with a large squad of experienced players when they return for pre-season training in a week’s time. Under Harry Redknapp there was a definite first team with changes only made because of injury. This meant that many experienced players saw little Premier League football last season, being used only in the Cup competitions and the Europa League when they played with some of the younger players. With little rotation in the team, those first choice players eventually didn’t perform as well as would have been expected and this may explain the reason for Spurs’ poor performances and results from February to May, in the past two seasons.

Two squad players, Vedran Corluka and Niko Kranjcar have already opted to leave the club in order to play regular football. Corluka had already decided to move on in search of first team football by agreeing to go on loan to Bayer Leverkusen in January in order to be fit to play for Croatia in Euro 2012. He has since signed for Lokomotiv Moscow for £5.5 million. His compatriot, Niko Kranjcar joined Dynamo Kiev for a fee of £7 million. Reserve goalkeeper, Ben Alnwick, who was registered with the Premier League in Spurs’ twenty five man squad last season was released at the end of his contract and has joined Barnsley. Th etow players who joined in January, on loan, hav ealso departed – Ryan Nelsen has gone to Queen’s Park Rangers and Losuis Saha has been released.

Other senior players who are expected to leave are William Gallas who may move to West Ham United, while there is a suggestion that Ledley King, whose contract expired at the end of may,will retire having battled for so many years to manage his injuries to enable him to play. It is truly amazing that King has performed so well in recent seasons at the highest level of the Premier League with a minimum of training each week.

Which other players will leave?

Even with the players already listed, Spurs still have many under-used senior players, some of whom had been expected to leave during previous transfer windows. Andre Villas-Boas’ appointment will either stimulate them with a new challenge or speed their departure. David Bentley has been on loan with both Birmingham City and West Ham United during the past eighteen months. Last summer’s loan to West Ham was cut short through injury, having played in only five matches. Jermaine Jenas went on loan to Aston Villa last August but after only three matches was out for the rest of the season with a ruptured achilles. Both players have been peripheral to the Tottenham team during the past two seasons under Redknapp and look very likely to be leaving White Hart Lane this summer.

Giovani Dos Santos, joined Spurs from Barcelona in 2008 with a big reputation but has only made 18 League appearances. He is a player who looks inspirational while playing international football for Mexico with 14 goals for his country. He has failed to show such talent in a Spurs’ shirt and has been in negotiations to leave the club during many of the recent transfer periods but nothing as ever been completed. He has been out on loan to Ipswich Town, Galatasaray and Racing Santander and would appear to want to play in Spain but no club has been able to reach agreement with Tottenham. He is with the Mexico squad, preparing for the Olympics and is said to be negotiating a move away from Spurs.

A younger player who a number of teams are looking to sign is Kyle Naughton. He spent last season on loan with Norwich City and made such an impression that they would be keen to retain his services. Having had a season in the Premier League he will not want to return to White Hart Lane to be a squad player with limited opportunities to play. If he does not think that he is going to get into the first team he may push for a move, although I would like to see him retained as he can play in both full back positions and would provide competition for both Kyle Walker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

Heurelho Gomes was completely isolated last season. Having lost his League place to Brad Friedel who was an ever-present, Gomes played in only a few Cup matches, while Carlo Cudicini was on the bench for the majority of the League games. With Spurs looking to sign a goalkeeper, Gomes will not want another season like last year and so may well return to play on the Continent.

Sebastien Bassong spent the second half of the season with relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers. After a good debut season with Spurs, it has not worked out as well for Bassong who sappeared to be lacking confidence when called in to the first team. A change of manager may be what he needs, providing him with the opportunity of a fresh start but the progress made by Steven Caulker may be an additional obstacle to Bassong’s return to first team football

Steven Pienaar has not made the anticipated impact at Spurs. He had little opportunity in his first year at the club, being hampered by injury. Last January he returned to Everton and took up where he had left off a year previously and was one of the reasons for Everton’s improvement in the second half of the season. David Moyes is very keen to resign the player who clearly missed Goodison and in all probability a deal will be struck.

Players who may be Transferred (but we don’t want them to go!)

Luka Modric was expected to leave last summer but Daniel Levy refused to consider a move. He is again the subjeect of much speculation with the accepted view that this time agreement will be reached with one of a number of clubs who are interested. From Totenham’s perspective, it would be better if Modric didn’t go to an English club, Chelsea and Manchester United being among his suitors. Spurs’ preference would be for him to sign for Real Madrid or PSG who are also rumoured to be interested.

Jermain Defoe has stated that he may have to consider his future if he is unable to get regular football with Spurs. He asked Harry Redknapp about going on loan last January as he was concerned that lack of first team football could see him excluded from England squad for Euro 2012. He was selected for England but was only used in the first match as a substitute. He scored 17 goals for Spurs and the goal against Fulham was his twentieth as a substitute, the most by a substitute in Premier League history.

"“I’ve never said I want to leave, all I’ve said is I want to play. As a forward, you want to get some sort of rhythm and at the end of the season that was not the case. I’m going to go to the Euros and then see what happens. The most important thing for me is being happy and scoring – that’s when I’m happiest.”Jermain Defoe speaking last May"

Rafael Van der Vaart has been linked with a return to Germany where his wife still works.  His former club, Hamburg, and Schalke are reported to be interested in signing him.

"“I don’t know. Actually, I want to stay at Tottenham. But in football you never know.”Rafael Van der Vaart speaking in May"

The comments from Jermain Defoe and Rafael Van der Vaart were made before the departure of Harry Redknapp and both were close to the former manager, so their views may have altered with a new manager in charge.

Who goes and who stays may be determined by which players Tottenham sign in the coming weeks and which positions they are able to strengthen. It is also possible that financial reasons and not football reasons may persuade some players to remain at White Hart Lane.

I expect to see David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas, Sebastien Bassong, Steven Pienaar, Giovani Dos Santos and Heurelho Gomes leave Tottenham.

Reluctantly, I think that Luka Modric will probably also be transferred whenever the club feels they have received a suitable offer from a continental club and depending on who comes in, Rafael Van der Vaart may also go.

A clear out of senior players will make room in the squad for new signings and some of the promising young players who have come through the Academy and have impressed in the Development squad under Tim Sherwood as well as in the Europa League last year.

Which players do you expect to follow the exit sign from White Hart Lane this summer?