Tottenham Hotspur certainly took their time choosing their targets during the summer transfer window, at first seemingly reluctant to splash the cash while their rivals competed in a trolley dash for the top names. However, the team that many pundits described as having the best starting XI in the Premier League still needed to add some depth to their squad and that included the acquisition of a striker who could provide support to Harry Kane during their busy campaign.
Halfway through the window, with no sign of any new arrivals, some fans of the North London club started to panic at the apparent lack of urgency displayed by the board.
It could, but we’re gonna be 3 games in with no new signings available. That’s amateurish. And no obvious attacking threat brought in either
— Glenn ShelfSideYID (@glenn_spurs) 23 August 2017
— simon john carse (@CarseSimon79) 30 July 2017
But just a few weeks later, when the window finally slammed shut, most were happy with the concluded business.
Arsenal fans mocked Spurs for making no signings only for them to make more signings than Arsenal within 7 days. I love this sport.
— Sim (@SJftbl) 31 August 2017
A couple weeks ago we were the only team with no signings and now the windows closed we’ve signed 5 mad!
— (@_Super_Sanchez_) 1 September 2017
In the end, the arrival of Juan Foyth, Serge Aurier, and Davinson Sanchez addressed the problem of a lack of depth in the squad, while the deadline day snatching of Fernando Llorente from Chelsea’s grasp could prove to be a stroke of genius.
Anyone who has followed the career of the Spaniard will know exactly what he can bring to Tottenham. The former Athletic Bilbao, Juventus, and Swansea man has been a prolific goal scorer in three of Europe’s top divisions, even managing to net 15 times for a struggling Swansea side last term. He also has Champions League experience and, at the age of 32, he is better suited to playing a back-up role where his fitness levels can be managed accordingly. Players of that pedigree do not become available for £12 million too often.
The 6ft 4in striker also offers the club something different in attack and eases some of the burden that has rested on the shoulders of Harry Kane over the last two seasons. With Champions League and domestic cup commitments set to clog up the London side’s calendar this term, they now look better equipped to do battle on many fronts.
Of course, there is no guarantee that the move for Llorente will prove to be a success. After all, it was only a year ago that Levy sanctioned the £17 million transfer of Vincent Janssen from Dutch club AZ. Much was expected of the former Dutch “Talent of the Year” but he failed to live up to expectations in spectacular fashion and now risks being frozen out of the club after refusing offers from three Premier League clubs during the transfer window.
However, the Spaniard known as El Rey León (“The Lion King”) provides a much safer option having already proved himself at the top level across the continent. The technically gifted front man is as notoriously good in the air as he is with his feet and it will be interesting to see how Mauricio Pochettino utilises him this term.
With the costs of a new stadium to cover, this purchase also offers a short-term cost saving solution in a market where the top goal scorers now command fees of £80m or more. Tottenham’s decision to bide their time in the transfer window certainly seems to a have been a calculated one. But whether they can mount another title challenge from their temporary Wembley home remains to be seen. Few pundits are tipping them for the title and football betting firm bet365 has demoted them to fifth in the pecking order behind Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City.