Here We Go Again: Will Tottenham Improve this Transfer Window?


Today at Hotspur HQ, Tyler Strauss talked about an article at the Independent reporting that Tottenham will offload up to nine players in the summer transfer window. These kind of reports have popped up for years now, so I felt like I had read it hundreds of times before. For the most part, I agree that these players and the others should leave White Hart Lane for other pastures come June. However, this latest report of a Spurs purge leaves Tottenham fans is just another reminder that Spurs’ management is inefficient in the transfer window.

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Sure, on this list, there are a few veterans who have turned in good shifts for Spurs over the years: Moussa Dembele, Aaron Lennon, and Younes Kaboul, among others. But there are an alarming amount of recent purchases listed on the chopping block. Roberto Soldado, Vlad Chiriches, Paulinho, and Etienne Capoue were all purchased in the Gareth Bale mega-splurge of 2013.

Most worrying was the mention of Benjamin Stambouli. Stambouli was bought this summer, not by former coach Andre Villas-Boas, but by Mauricio Pochettino. Apparently Pochettino has already decided that Stambouli is not good enough to play for Spurs.

Now, Pochettino may certainly be right about Stambouli. However, this assumption does not make Spurs fans very confident in the Argentine coach’s future transfer dealings. Already, Pochettino has grown tired of a player he spoke very highly of during the summer. Also, Stambouli happens to play a position of need, center midfield, where Pochettino has instead chosen to play two youth products for essentially the entire season.

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Next, we must examine more closely the failed 2013 window. Spurs had a great opportunity to rebuild the squad after Bale’s sale to Real Madrid for a world record fee. However, Villas-Boas and Daniel Levy utterly failed in that mission. Today, there are only two sure starters left from that group: Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli, that latter of which proved a very shrewd buy for only £7 million. Spurs made three record signings that summer, Soldado, Paulinho, and Erik Lamela, none of whom are consistent starters today.

So, there is evidence that even when Spurs have a ton of money to spend, they still do not spend it successfully. What roads, then, do Spurs have in rebuilding their squad to make a top four run next season? Now, I am not saying that Spurs will only make bad purchases this summer. But the squad needs at least three new starters next season. I do not really trust that, for instance, Spurs will be able to identify the proper center back if they are already looking at a 22 year old prospect as the perfect partner for Jan Vertonghen.

If Spurs cannot rebuild through the transfer market, that leaves the young players currently in the squad having to take big steps forward next season. It is possible this could happen. Lamela and Nabil Bentaleb are both talented players who could improve next season. While some may think that Lamela has no future at Spurs and should be sold along with the rest of the failed purchases from 2013, he has never gotten a consistent run of games in the Premier League, and he has a ton of pedigree. Not only did he star at Roma, but he was a major part of Argentina’s pre-World Cup squads. If he is awarded some trust by the technical staff, Lamela could have an excellent season next campaign.

Unfortunately, other young players may not be as likely to improve. Ryan Mason seems overwhelmed by his current starting role in Spurs’ midfield, and has hurt his partner Bentaleb. Danny Rose has turned in a decent campaign at left back, but he may be very close to his ceiling. Kyle Walker has been injured the entire campaign and these problems could carry over to the summer, Eric Dier has been shaky at both center back and right back, and Andros Townsend has yet again been wasteful on the right wing.

Ultimately, many things could happen next season. For Spurs to be successful, they first must count on Lamela and Bentaleb to improve, Rose to remain a solid if not great at left back, and Walker to get healthy. Then, if Spurs can sign a good center back and a good defensive midfielder, while adding some depth at forward and midfield, they could rise in the table a few places.

But if either part of the equation goes wrong, Spurs could be stuck in the same position they are now, and that is not a position many Spurs’ fans desire. Make no mistake, every year that Spurs do not make the Champions League, it becomes more and more likely that Spurs’ Champions League talent will leave for bigger clubs. And if Lloris, Eriksen, and, as unlikely as it seems, Harry Kane (please God NO) leave after next season, then Spurs will be looking at a total rebuild.

This is an essential transfer market that may decide the next few years at White Hart Lane. Let’s hope that Daniel Levy can reverse his trend of inefficient spending, and some youth products can continue to improve. If not, there may be many more trips on rainy Thursdays to Ukraine in Spurs’ future.

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