This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
As the transfer window approaches, Real Madrid have once again been linked to some of the world’s best midfield talents, including the likes of Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Eduardo Camavinga, which will no doubt spread fear amongst Zinedine Zidane’s squad.
However, former Tottenham star Luka Modric has nothing to fear, as he was awarded the prestigious Golden Foot award in 2019 to add to his impressive trophy cabinet. None of this would have seemed possible to the young Croatian, when he was made a refugee after his grandfather was shot dead by rebels close to his childhood home.
Modric made quite a name for himself at Dinamo Zagreb, where he attracted the attention from a number of major European giants, such as Manchester City and Barcelona, as well as Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United in 2008.
After a year of stagnant negotiations, Daniel Levy wasted no time and promptly jumped on a plane to Croatia, informing director of football Damien Comolli that the 22-year-old had signed on the dotted line at 3am (The Independent). More than 10 years later, it is safe to say Modric remains one of the best signings made during Levy’s time in charge of the club.
The little midfielder dazzled the crowds at Euro 2008, scoring the match-winner in the 1-0 win over Austria, helping the Chequered Ones reach the quarter-finals. Despite his heroics away on international duty, he struggled at first to earn a place in the starting lineup, with Juande Ramos preferring Jermaine Jenas in the central role. The Croat only played eight games for Ramos, although he did pick up his first assist in the Premier League in the 2-1 defeat to Sunderland.
Unsurprisingly, the Spaniard was sacked shortly after, and everything changed for the better when Harry Redknapp arrived at White Hart Lane.
Speaking to the media after the playmaker’s superb display in a goalless draw with Manchester United in 2011, Redknapp said: “He was unbelievable. Magnificent. He’s an amazing footballer, the little man takes the ball in the tightest areas with people around him, wriggling out of situations. He could play in any team in the world.”
Modric’s exhibitions at White Hart Lane saw his market value skyrocket from £15.3m at the start of his career in England to £36m in 2012. However, these performances came at a price, as Real Madrid president Florentino Perez lined up a move. The transfer saga ended up taking up the entire summer, until he finally left north London for the La Liga outfit for £35m in July of that year (Bleacher Report).
In a weird twist of fate, it was future Spurs boss Jose Mourinho who brought the midfielder to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The Croatian captain has won the Ballon d’Or, four Champions League trophies, the La Liga title, and one Spanish Cup, but he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down just yet.
Upon reflection, Modric’s signing turned out to be a stroke of genius by Levy, as the club managed to get four years of brilliant football out of the midfielder, before selling the ace for double the fee they originally paid for him.
Tottenham fans, do you think Luka Modric has been Levy’s best buy so far? Let us know down below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience