By the end of last the last January transfer window Tottenham Hotspur had moved three senior players on and had a couple new ones come in. This January has been stark by comparison as no senior players have come or gone. Whereas last January Tottenham were scrambling to find cover, this winter window may come and go with no meaningful deals at all.
No Fernandes This Time
Last January all eyes were on Portugal and Fernandes. Whereas Manchester United brought in the polished, finished product in Bruno Fernandes, Tottenham Hotspur went young with Gedson Fernandes from Benfica. Whereas Bruno was brought in to change United and he has, Gedson was brought in case of emergency for Spurs.
This January the only question with Gedson Fernandes is if he is going to finish his loan until the end of the season in June give his limited opportunities. However, the good news is that Tottenham are also not scrambling to bring in someone, anyone, to potentially provide cover.
At this point last season, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Moussa Sissoko, and Heung-Min Son were all out injured. Add in Christian Eriksen forcing his way out and Tottenham were in a position where they needed Gedson or someone.
Bergwijn Came to the Bigtime
While Spurs missed on the Fernandes sweepstakes, the reality was Tottenham had more holes to fill than what Bruno Fernandes could do alone. Gedson was not the only new body to come into N17 last January, as Steven Bergwijn was signed near the deadline. Bergwijn came from the Dutch league with a reputation as a flashy, but unfinished attacker.
Bergwijn made a huge splash with his debut goal against Manchester City and has been a regular, whenever he is available, in José Mourinho’s squad. While not the top of Mourinho’s list last January, Bergwijn ticks a lot of boxes and works very hard for the shirt. His finishing skills still need some work, but his ability and promise is undeniable.
All of this was going on with Eriksen working his way out
The need for Gedson and Bergwijn and signing Giovani Lo Celso on a permanent last January were all exacerbated by the injuries and of course Christian Eriksen. Eriksen left Spurs in a lurch, which is reason enough not to bring the Dane back. And frankly, it is hard to say Spurs really need Eriksen at this point as the minutes are already limited in the midfield, but that is a different article.
However, last January as the squad was running thin and on fumes, here was Christian Eriksen refusing to negotiate on a contract and forcing his way out, to go somewhere, anywhere, but London. Now of course Eriksen is again looking for a new home and a year on Spurs are in a very different spot.
Tottenham Need to Move People on, Not Move People in
A full year later and just over a year under the eye of José Mourinho and we have a vastly different Tottenham team. Spurs are not looking for Gedson Fernandes in the market, they are potentially looking to move him back from a lack of opportunity. Spurs are not looking to bring back Eriksen, while he could come back at a profit – very Levy like – Tottenham have limited opportunities for Christian the same as Inter.
While Tottenham have overall been fortunate from the injury perspective, they have not been unharmed as Lo Celso has been largely unavailable, as has the consistently unreliable Erik Lamela. Add on the fact that Gareth Bale seems a mere shell of his former self and that is three players in the attacking band that are inconsistent at best, and yet there is still talk of moving on Dele Alli.
Wow, what a difference a year makes.
Of course this time last season, Spurs had another half dozen games under their belts and then the injuries hit hard. That could still happen this season, which is a big reason Dele is not going anywhere, among others. At this point, Tottenham is looking to make the most out of this season they can, with a weathered eye on the summer.
It is the summer, where Mourinho will have had a full season with all his charges where we will see the next big change in the guard at Tottenham. At this point, with a full foreign player list until players start to move out, no new ones can really move in. So expect this summer to bring the activity that this winter has not. Ultimately, for the purposes of this campaign, a slow winter window is good, because it means there is no need for a panic buy.