With Kyle Walker’s £50m move to Manchester City now confirmed, it is believed that Spurs have roughly £82m in the bank which has been accrued from player sales in this transfer window alone thanks to selling fringe players such as Clinton N’Jie (Marseille, £8m) and Nabil Bentaleb (Schalke, £16m), as well as the big money sale of Walker. However, despite the considerable income generated by those sales, Tottenham remain one of the only clubs in the Premier League yet to make any sort of move this summer.
This, quite understandably, is causing great frustration amongst large numbers of the Spurs support, including myself. Whilst title rivals Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal have all made marquee signings in this window, spending upwards of £50m each, the lack of any sort of progress the club seem to be making in completing any sort of deal to bring players in is very worrying indeed.
Whilst some may state there’s still 6 weeks of the transfer window yet to go, look deeper into the worries and you can see why fans have every right to be frustrated and annoyed with Levy and the decision makers at the club.
With pretty much every club flying thousands of miles away to participate in some sort of pre-season tour this summer, the players spend days, if not weeks, with each other in between games and training in their hotels. For new players, this time spent together with the other lads is crucial in helping to settle down and familiarise their selves with the language and culture of the club (if they’re from abroad), whilst forming friendships with other guys, ultimately helping raise team morale and togetherness. Getting the new players in early also means they have more time over the summer to understand the managers philosophy and the team’s style of play – you can’t say the same for a player who joins on deadline day and has potentially a game a few days later to help settle them down into the squad, can you? Players that sign for a club late into the transfer window are expected to settle in immediately and contribute towards the team, especially if signed for a large amount of money.
There’s also a huge amount of pressure on the club to strengthen the squad after last season. Whilst the second placed finish was a Premier League record for the club, performances in the Champions League and FA Cup Semi-Final brutally highlighted just how few players of adequate quality we have to bring on, should we need to change/chase a game. Look at the Chelsea Semi-Final for example – whilst they bought on Costa, Hazard and Fabregas from the bench and powered their way through to the final, we could only turn to Sissoko, Janssen and N’Koudou. If we want to build on the hard work Pochettino has put in to get us to this point, it is imperitive that we strengthen. The sale of Kyle Walker was a worrying sign that given the right price, Levy will do business, showing a real lack of ambition according to some.
Perhaps the most frustrating part of all of this summer so far is just down to the fact Levy/the board just don’t spend the money necessary to get the players in that are on the list. Throughout the years, we have seen the club fail to land top targets – whether it’s down to the fact we’ve been outbid or just haven’t stumped up the necessary money to sign the player. I remember the summer we sold Bale to Real Madrid, AVB highlighted Moutinho, Hulk and David Villa as his 3 top targets to spend the £90m Bale money on. We signed none of them and ended up with Paulinho, Chadli and Soldado, amongst others. Even this summer, Walker’s rumoured replacement, the Portuguese right-back Ricardo Pereira, has a reported release clause of £22m – under half of the money we received for Walker – but there is talk that we are reluctant to match this and Levy wants to get him for cheaper. The Premier League is the richest, most competitive league in the world. Europe’s best players want to come here, and usually do, given the club who finish bottom of the league receive more in prize money than Bayern Munich do for winning the Bundesliga. Whilst Levy has to be applauded for keeping the club on an even financial footing for so long, the time has come to push on and spend the money, as it’s clear we have it.
Failure to do so, and with clubs such as Everton spending in excess of £100m, it won’t be long before we find ourselves in a real struggle to finish in the top 6, let alone the top 4.