With days left to the start of the new season and Tottenham Hotspur’s strike force consisting of Jermain Defoe, Harry Kane and Souleymane Coulibaly, alarm bells are now ringing. Last month, the appointment of Andre Villas-Boas escalated optimism levels amongst us to newfound highs, yet with the only strikers currently being Defoe, someone who lacks the physical presence to fill the target man role, and Kane too inexperienced to lead the line we have to question the lack of activity in the transfer market.
Before I start I’m not criticising chairman Daniel Levy as I’m sure he’s working hard behind the scenes to make things happen. However, certain aspects have to be questioned, such as our missing transfer funds.
Spurs been strongly linked with both Emmanuel Adebayor and Leandro Damiao, we’ve reportedly been waiting for Luka Modric to leave to fund both moves, in particular the latter of the two. However, since the beginning of last season, Spurs have sold the following; Peter Crouch, Wilson Palacios, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Niko Kranjcar, Vedran Corluka, Steven Pienaar and Robbie Keane.
Although we have purchased Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson this season and bought only Scott Parker last season leaving us with the combined transfers of everyone else a good £20-25m left over at least. If you then add on top of that the television rights, sponsorship money and ticket sales from last year we are looking at a pretty substantial amount left spare.
Even so, Modric seems to be a stumbling block in all our transfers, for to replace him we need to know if he’s going to leave or not. Croatia head coach Igor Stimac has come out and said he expects him to join Real Madrid soon, which would hopefully allow everything else to take shape and increase our level of activity.
The “deadwood” within the club would also generate even more money to spend, with Villas-Boas having reportedly informed Levy of a list of who he wants gone from the club. Jermaine Jenas, Sebastian Bassong, David Bentley and William Gallas are all likely to head for the exit door which would also save the club around £10m-a-year in wages alone.
Spurs have also released Ryan Nelsen, Louis Saha and Ledley King, along with various youth players which much push our wage budget up enough so that Levy could perhaps offer Adebayor a more substantial wage that could entice him to join without being reliant on Manchester City to cover the remaining costs, something that City seem reluctant to do. Even if we were to sign him now; would he be match fit and ready for the first game on the weekend?
But what adds to the intrigue and mystery surrounding it all is the news we recently received that Gareth Bale had signed a new four year contract. A world class player like Bale, who reportedly drew interest from European giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, would not sign a contract of that length – even more so knowing chairman Levy’s stance on want away Modric’s contract – unless something big was going to happen.
Previous rumours in the air included a takeover from the Qatar Investment Authority, current owners of big spending Paris St. Germain, who would invest money that would allow us to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea. Due to the supposed introduction of the Financial Fair Play Rules (They don‘t seem too bothered about that at the moment) they couldn’t buy us outright and therefore would only be allowed to invest around £250m into the club.
Spurs have regularly been a last minute club when it comes to transfers and it certainly looks like staying that way this season. The club have been linked with the world and its wife; it seems on a daily basis, something which further adds to the excitement of being a Spurs fan. What does appear definite amongst all this uncertainty is that Levy will be a busy man in the coming weeks.
It’s amongst all this that our current predicament seems to have a sense of irony and misfortune that only Spurs could have. Ever since the start of the Premier League, Spurs have always been fortunate in terms of our strikers and have never had a problem scoring with the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann, Teddy Sheringham, Les Ferdinand, David Ginola, Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov, to name a few.
We’ve just never had the defence or the midfield to back it up. Yet now we sit with a strong defence and midfield, but no strikers. If only Klinsmann could’ve been born 20 years later…
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