Given the disastrous result last night in the Champions League, coupled with the recent poor form in domestic competition, it must be hard for a Spurs fan to be anything but awashed with bitterness. I, for one, cannot bear to read any more about the fashion in which we went down to Real Madrid. Instead, I wish to look forward to the summer and examine Tottenham‘s previous transfer policy under Harry Redknapp. Let us turn our attentions to the type of player Tottenham need.
Despite being linked with the most exotic sounding players from all parts of the world, under Redknapp, Tottenham have predominantly bought players from within the Premiership. Unless I’m mistaken, other than Sandro, Van der Vaart, Khumalo and Pavlyuchenko, Tottenham have bought only players from within English football in the last three years.
Tottenham have picked up some bargains in doing this. Gallas on a free transfer, Kranjcar for £2m and Pienaar for £2m are just a few. You can add names like Bentley, Kaboul, Bassong, Palacios and Corluka to that list of players bought from other English clubs. But as well as signing proven Premier League talent, Tottenham have also invested in some of the best young talent in the country. Firstly in Gareth Bale and then in Kyle Walker, there are also a handful of good Tottenham prospects on loan around the country. Both types of player here, the young buck and the experienced player, represent good buys.
This has served Tottenham well in transforming them from a club at the foot of the Premier League to a fourth placed finish last year. But, if they are going to push on and make the feat of finishing in the top four a habit, do they need to adjust this transfer policy?
A player of a similar standard to Van der Vaart is the kind of quality Tottenham need to bring in. But this was a freak transfer, a player of this quality is not going to be available for £8m every year. If he had not become available on transfer deadline day, Tottenham would not have even begun to think about trying to sign him. Tottenham need to be more proactive in looking for players and not wait to be offered them on the last day of the transfer window.
A player like Pienaar does represent good value, but he is hardly a player to take Tottenham to the next level. Kranjcar too, is a good player but he is not going to reach his full potential, playing week-in, week-out, at Tottenham. Additionally, rather than paying more money for foreign players like Bassong (£8m) and Palacios (£12m) from other Premier League clubs, shouldn’t Tottenham look to bring them in direct from abroad? This would see the squad continue to develop as it has done, but at a fraction of the price.
If Tottenham are going to establish themselves as regular top four finishers, Daniel Levy is going to have to bite the bullet and spend large sums on quality players. More money will be available if Tottenham use more imagination, Newcastle bought Bassong from Metz for £500,000. Fair enough, going abroad involves risk, Pavluychenko has not exactly been brilliant, but I think that Spurs are now at a stage where they have to be more imaginative than just buy decent Premiership players.
Tottenham’s signings under Redknapp, have been very much of a club looking to grow. Now the club has grown to achieved its preliminary goal (fourth place), we must use more imagination to ensure that 2010/11 isn’t a flash in the pan, ‘one-off’ season.
Joe Austin writes for Football FanCast.com