Former footballer Charlie Nicholas has criticised Tottenham Hotspur’s activity in the transfer window this winter – labelling the club’s approach to deals as ‘all wrong’ following the signing of winger Steven Bergwijn from PSV.
Prior to the final day of the window, Bergwijn had become their second signing of January, though Nicholas appeared so irritated by Tottenham’s approach to transfers this month that his pre-match prediction ahead of their clash against Manchester City was dominated by groans over their activity in recent weeks.
Backing the champions to prevail by a 3-1 scoreline on Sunday, Nicholas told Sky Sports that while their deal in selling Christian Eriksen was admirable, there are no excuses for failing to address their problems at the back, while the capture of Bergwijn seems misguided.
He said: “Tottenham got an amazing deal with £16m for Christian Eriksen. I thought Inter Milan would wait until the summer. They have got out of jail with that, but you cannot get out of jail with their defence, even with Hugo Lloris back. They are sapped of all energy and Eric Dier looks like he is running through treacle.
“Why have they bought a winger in Steven Bergwijn? They have it all wrong. This is not a Jose Mourinho signing. This is about business and bringing in some money. Can Jose get them to the top four? I am not sure.”
Nicholas’ concerns seem rather fair considering there is a desperate need for a central striker as Harry Kane remained Spurs’ only solid option in that area going into the window’s final hours – with Bergwijn’s arrival mainly adding another wide player to Tottenham’s attack.
And given that their defensive record under Jose Mourinho continues to have a grim look to it (with two clean sheets in 17 games), the signing of Bergwijn in particular appears to aid neither of Spurs’ more obvious squad issues in defence and at centre-forward.
So it looks as though Nicholas is rather justifiably disappointed with how Spurs have gone about their business in the past few weeks, particularly as their immediate concerns would appear to make their targets easy to identify.
In fairness, Gedson Fernandes’ arrival may yet help to solidify their defence, though perhaps Nicholas’ prediction is a sign that he does not see things changing at Spurs as the window closes.
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