After a very, very long period of the summer which saw the club fail to secure any new signings, we eventually saw 5 players sign on the dotted line before the window “slammed” shut on Thursday evening as the club head in to the new season and look to build on a mixed start in the Premier League.
With Kyle Walker’s £50m sale to Manchester City sparking outrage amongst fans in July, the pressure was on the board to adequately replace him and also to strengthen other areas of the team, given our lack of depth in key positions which was brutally highlighted in key games last year.
I have had a look at our 5 new arrivals and commented on what they offer the club as we head into a second successive season in the Champions League and look to challenge once again for the league title.
- Davinson Sanchez
Signed from: Ajax
Age: 21 years old
Position: Centre back
In the first of the five signings to be secured this summer, the club spent big money to secure the signing of highly rated Davinson Sanchez from Dutch giants Ajax, breaking the club record transfer fee paid for a player (£38m) and providing real competition to Toby Alderwiereld and Jan Vertonghen at centre back.
Tall (6.1ft), quick and strong in the air and in the tackle, Sanchez was hugely impressive in the Ajax side who reached the Europa League final last season, finishing runners up as they lost to Manchester United. Despite only being 21 years old, Spurs beat off rumoured competition from Real Madrid and other top European clubs to land the Colombian.
- Serge Aurier
Signed from: Paris Saint-Germain
Age: 24 years old
Following the departure of the hugely-popular Kyle Walker to Manchester City and the performances of youngster Kyle Walker-Peters in several pre-season friendlies, the pressure was on for Spurs to adequately replace Walker with a proven, experienced defender who could challenge Kieran Trippier for the right-back slot this season.
Pochettino looks to have found that man, with Serge Aurier arriving from Paris Saint-Germain. A highly rated right-back, Aurier played over 40 games for PSG in all competitions and is known for his pace, power and strength from the full back position, providing an extra dimension to his team’s attack. Of all the signings this summer, Aurier was perhaps the one which was most needed, given the lack of competition at right back.
- Fernando Llorente
Signed from: Swansea City
Age: 32 years old
With Vincent Janssen failing to adequately replace Harry Kane whilst the Englishman was injured last season signing an experienced, proven goalscorer was a priority this summer – someone who could come in and contribute with a goal or assist when chasing a game.
Llorente joined on deadline day and reportedly turned down a reunion with Antonio Conte at Chelsea in favour of joining Spurs. Formerly of Juventus, Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao, he has experience of playing at the very highest level in several different countries and has also played in the Champions League before – gaining crucial experience which will help as we head into this year’s group stage where we face Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. With 15 goals for a struggling Swansea City team last season, he has shown that he can score crucial goals and will be a very valuable player to have in the squad this year.
- Juan Foyth
- Signed from: Estudiantes (Argentina)
- Age: 19 years old
- Nationality: Argentinian
- Position: Centre back
In one of the longest transfer stories of the summer, Juan Foyth finally put pen to paper and became a Spurs player towards the end of the transfer window, completing a deal worth around £9m and providing competition to the other centre-backs at the club. With strong interest from PSG all summer, the club managed to get the deal over the line following a stalemate in negotiations earlier on in the window.
At just 19 years old, Foyth was our youngest signing of the window, but joins after being highly rated by many South American pundits and journalists who have seen him play. After spending a number of years in the Estudiantes Youth academy, Foyth signed his first professional contract in January 2017, which linked him to the club until June 2019. He has also played a number of games for the Argentina under-20’s side and has established himself as an important member of that squad.
Measuring in at 6.3ft, Foyth possesses strength, a great reading of the game and is comfortable with the ball at his feet – traits which Pochettino likes his defenders to have.
- Paulo Gazzaniga
Signed from: Southampton
Age: 25 years old
After being unable to complete the permanent signing of Spaniard Pau Lopez who was on loan at the club last season, Pochettino moved quickly to sign Paulo Gazzaniga as his third choice goalkeeper for this campaign. Gazzaniga, who has experience of being at a top flight club after a stint as Southampton’s reserve keeper, he will provide strength in depth should anything happen to Hugo Lloris or Michel Vorm this season.
Overall, it turned out to be a relatively successful summer in regards to transfers at the club. Whilst there was great frustration surrounding the sale of Kyle Walker and the club’s aparrent inability to get people through the door quickly like Manchester United & City did, this group of players achieved our highest ever Premier League finish last season and in Kane, Alli and Eriksen, we possess some of the best young players in Europe – keeping hold of these was equally as important as bringing fresh faces in.
The new players will bring a varied mix of attributes – with the three new defenders, there is a clear pattern – youth, energy, and pace, whilst Llorente brings bags of experience and is a proven goalscorer at the highest level.
Our early season results and performances suggest that an injection of pace in the final third would have been nice – the squad looking thin on wide players with Erik Lamela out indefinitely. However, the returns of Danny Rose and Lamela will feel like new signings when they are fit and will provide even more depth to a squad which now looks relatively well stacked.
With the window now shut, Pochettino will be able to fully focus on making sure his players are motivated and ready for what is going to be one of the most competitive seasons the club has ever faced.
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