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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Spurs: What should be Tottenham's transfer policy?


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After much deliberation about what shape the upper echelons at White Hart Lane could take it is time to discuss the way I envisage us approaching the transfer market in the coming months and years. 

With Euro 2012 in full swing, most clubs try to tie up the majority of their business prior to kick off in order to avoid inflated fees should any subjected player featuring have a stand out tournament. 

Spurs, in recent years, have become synonymous with last day dealings, playing up to Levy's reputation of hanging on for every penny and Redknapp's equally as a 'Wheeler, Dealer.' Just don't tell him I said that!

Reports also suggest that here lies many problems for us, in that Levy is spearheading our transfer dealings rather than the manager. For me, I am none too bothered who is doing the deals as long as they represent value and the players turn out to be great acquisitions for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. 

Since Redknapp has been at the club I have felt that we have veered away from Levy's original transfer market blueprint of buying young talented players on long contracts that could have a future sell on value. In more recent times we appear to have been buying for the now with signings that appear, with hindsight, to have been more about immediate impact rather than long term investment, ie. Defoe, Crouch, Palacios, etc. 

For Tottenham recently there has been much talk of Daniel Levy being willing to release the purse strings for a marquee signing if the right man is available and willing. This in its principle seems great for us fans. Let's go get an Ibrahimovic, a Sneijder or a Gonzalo Higuaín. But with more careful thought on the matter, would it be wise for us to do this? Firstly the chances of signing a genuine £30 million plus player that would be interested is very slim with the lack of elite European football next season, and there is no chance that Mr Levy would allow an overpriced striker to come through the doors at those sort of figures.

It may sit well at Man City and Chelsea to bring in their Adebayors and Schevchenkos and then write them off with little more than a seconds thought from their respective owners, but at Tottenham this simply isn't economically feasible. 

Let's just dream for a moment and suppose we do sign the £35 million striker in the form of someone like Fernando Llorente that we have craved at the Lane for so long. He comes from La Liga and has an abundance of goals and international caps that make him one of the most sought after players in world football and he chooses Spurs because he can see what we are trying to build and wants to be a part of it. Firstly, how does this impact the rest of our transfer and wage budgets?

We have an ageing backline in need of reinforcements and a midfield that when fit and in form rivals the best, but with one or two injuries appears either lightweight or lacking in creativity. Throw in the fact that we have a 40-year-old goalkeeper that, despite what he has achieved, cannot go on forever you and have to start worrying whether we should throw all of our eggs into one centre forward shaped basket.

Secondly, what happens if he struggles with the pace and power of the EPL, what if Premier League defenders find him easy to mark/bully out of the game, what if he suffers a serious injury and is never quite the same, what if the fans don't take to his playing style etc? All of a sudden we have spent £35 million on a transfer and agreed to a five-year contract worth £5 million a year and we could
have a £60 million flop on our hands that a club like ours cannot afford. Couple this with the fact that I doubt Daniel Levy would ever be tempted into a major money signing like that again and somehow we would find that one ill-fated signing could make a hugely negative impact on our future. 

For the next couple of years it could serve us better to go back to Levy's former policy of signing young players with great potential (Vertonghen, Damiano, Adam Johnson) and possible resale value should any of them do a Berbatov and assume the grass is greener elsewhere. If we could spend two years bulking up our squad with top drawer youngsters who can keep us in the top four, that in turn, can complement the ageing Dawson, Parker, Adebayor (possibly) and Friedel, then as the elder statesmen of the squad slowly creep towards retirement we should be in a place to think about a big name signing every year to add that bit of magic that can separate the good from the great.

Do you agree with Gary Stevens? Should Spurs look to create strength in depth or look for that player who could make them world beaters? Please get in touch to let us know your views, we love to hear from our reader.

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Gary Stevens

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