Tottenham Hotspur’s refusal to allow midfielder Luka Modric to join Chelsea in the summer, made it refreshing to finally see a team not bowing down to player power.
The Croatian handed in a transfer request at White Hart Lane, after hearing of Chelsea’s interest in him, but Spurs turned down three bids from the West London club and continuously made it clear that he wasn’t for sale.
In this day in age in football, once a player hands in a transfer request, it seems he is very likely to be on his way out of the club. But Spurs bucked that trend and showed that no player is bigger than the football club by letting Modric know, that they would not be forced into letting him go to a direct rival.
Speaking in July, Harry Redknapp told BBC Sport: ”We know he wants to leave and whether he writes it down on a piece of paper doesn’t really make any difference to our stance. He’s a great player and we don’t want to lose him.”
In contrast, North London neighbours Arsenal spent the entire summer insisting that both Cesc Fabregas and Samir were not for sale, despite both players expressing a wish to leave the club. Fabregas was finally ready to make the move back to his hometown club Barcelona and Nasri, who only had a year left on his contract, insisted he wasn’t going to sign a new deal because he wanted to leave.
By the end of August, Fabregas made his move to Barcelona and Nasri moved to Manchester City, which shows that player power comes out on top on most occasions and this is why Tottenham deserve a lot of credit for taking a defiant stance against it.
Despite being visibly disappointed that his move to Chelsea didn’t materialise and an indifferent start to the season, Luka Modric has finally accepted that he will be staying at Tottenham for the foreseeable future and he was back to his mercurial best against Liverpool last weekend, as he put on a masterclass in the midfield, scoring a wonderful goal in the process.
Harry Redknapp is convinced that the transfer fiasco is behind Modric and he wants Chairman Daniel Levy to reward him with a new contract to try and persuade him to stay at White Hart Lane, despite the midfielder signing a six year contract in May 2010.
Redknapp said: ”Luka is fine now, he’s just getting on with it. I think the chairman will sit down with him and discuss his contract. That’s what I’d like to happen”
It is quite clear that Luka Modric is invaluable to Tottenham and is their most important player, but what makes Harry Redknapp and Daniel Levy think that a new contract will make him stay beyond this season?
Speaking just over a year ago after signing a new six year deal at Spurs, Modric said:
”Tottenham gave me my chance in the Premier League and I want to go on to achieve great success here with them. Yes, there have been enquiries from other big clubs but I have no interest in going anywhere.”
“Last season’s top-four finish was an indication of where we are as a club and I feel I can continue to improve and go on to achieve everything I want to at Spurs.”
Just a year later, after Tottenham failed to make the Champions League for a second successive season, Modric hands in a transfer request and tries hard to force a move to Chelsea. So if he was to sign yet another improved contract at White Hart Lane this season, what assurances would the Spurs fans receive that the influential Croatian would stay on for a few more years?
At this moment in time, I don’t believe he deserves a new contract at Tottenham Hotspur, especially not after one good performance against Liverpool. Spurs fans haven’t forgotten that he refused to play in their opening league match against Manchester United and also asking Harry Redknapp not to play him against Manchester City as ‘his head wasn’t right’.
I don’t think Daniel Levy and Harry Redknapp should be offering him a new contract so soon after the summer transfer saga. I believe Modric needs to continue to deliver performances like he did last weekend and concentrate on getting Tottenham back into the Champions League and therefore contract talks should be put on hold, because Tottenham Hotspur Football Club are bigger than Luka Modric.