Opinion: A transfer merry-go-round

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Harry Winks
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Two games into the new season and if ever two results summed up the life and times of a Spurs fan it was these.

A stunning victory against one of the best club sides in the world followed by defeat against a team likened in the media to a hazelnut chocolate delivered by the Ambassador.

Perhaps the only thing saving Spurs from even bigger ridicule from the media and opposition fans is the ongoing transfer saga at the club that has occupied back and occasionally front pages this summer.

So where to begin.  Such is Spurs desire to be successful in all things transfers they now have two senior staff positions dedicated to incomings and outgoings as well as the custodian on the purse strings Mr Levy.  This summer, Fabio Paratici has joined Spurs from Juventus as the new managing director of football. The suave, fashionably unshaven Italian is said to be in his natural habitat when negotiating transfers.

He is joined by Steve Hitchen who ‘allegedly’ hates the transfer window. This revelation was made during his brief appearance on the Amazon All or Nothing documentary.  I’m sure it was taken out of context and cleverly edited but nonetheless, this sentence was damaging to his reputation among the Spurs faithful.  Hopefully, his exuberant celebrations after the Man City game will have helped him adhere himself to the fans.

The duo got to work quickly (relatively so for Spurs) by securing Gollini, Gil and Romero.

Gollini appears to have been brought in to audition to replace the veteran Hugo Lloris who it is understood hasn’t been offered an extension to his contract that expires next summer. It will be interesting how this pans out as I suspect hopes of reuniting with Pochettino at PSG will have been harmed by the French Club’s acquisition of the commanding Italian Donnarumma.

Spanish winger Gil has been brought as ‘one for the future’ while the Argentinian Romero the only likely, regular starter.  Although after Thursday I am already hearing that ‘he will need time to adapt’ to the Premier League!

This brings us to outgoings. One player who we have been waiting an eternity to adapt to the league is Frenchman Tanguay Ndombele.

Very much like the new must-have kitchen gadget that you purchase. You pay more than you should but convince yourself you will get so much use out of it. Sadly you never do and it rarely sees the light of day!

While there is undoubted potential to unlock, he has made his mind up this will never happen at Spurs and we should cash in.  Four managers have tried and failed to get the best out of him.  I don’t get the impression that the new manager would pre-judge any situation so this was the perfect chance to have a fresh start.  Something he is clearly not interested in.  Don’t be surprised to see him pull up trees elsewhere.

Part of the reason for wanting to leave could be his close friendship with Sissoko and Aurier who both look set to leave this summer and clearly aren’t now in the manager’s plans based on pre-season and the opening two fixtures. It is perhaps no coincidence that all three probably enjoyed their best spells at the club when they were playing together in the same team under Mourinho.

Whether a buyer for all three can be found I expect will depend on how easily other clubs can find transfer fees and wages.

There aren’t too many leagues in the world that can afford the wages that even an average Premier League footballer can earn, maybe with the exception of the Middle East.  Currently, though this isn’t a favoured destination of footballers mid-career.  It will be interesting to see how if the league becomes more attractive following the World Cup next winter.

On the backdrop of catastrophic losses caused by the pandemic and an emphasis on financial fair play, it is apparent that clubs are also needing to sell to buy. 

Liverpool have been very open about this and Chelsea are clearly benefitting from their controversial loan model of recent years by selling a number of fringe players to fund the signing of Lukaku.  Could this be the reason Man City are reluctant to up their Kane bid after splashing out £100 million on Jack Grealish? Time will tell I guess.

The ‘£140 million’ window seems to be having a competition with the seven signings from the Bale cash’ window as to which is the most calamitous.

The combined efforts of Eriksen and Lamela at the moment are streets ahead of anything we have seen from Ndombele, Lo Celso, Sessegnon and Clarke.  The latter two are young but with a combined fee of near £40 million paid and their resale value diminishing they need to make an impact sooner or later.  As for Lo Celso, he has the look of a player constantly played out of position – but never knowing what his best position is!

To say Levy doesn’t spend is not necessarily true but the 140m now looks poorly spent and would have been far better spread over the two earlier barren windows to make the rebuild more gradual.

I believe the slowing of activity from Spurs is due to the need to free up spaces in the squad / wages and recoup funds.  However, this is more easily stated than achieved.  At Spurs you have players plying their trade at one of the best stadiums and training facilities in world football, living in London and earning a stupendous weekly wage. A bit like asking for someone to relocate from a penthouse office block to an industrial estate. 

We understand that ESPN is the latest player keen to ‘fight for his place’ when the club were happy for him to leave. Quite ironic really, one Harry desperate to stay another desperate to leave! It is interesting that contracts can be a comfort blank or a noose depending on the position of club and player.

Quite what the last week of the window brings in terms of new signings I suspect will be down to either players sold or whisper, it the Kane proceeds.

Without incoming funds I still expect Spurs to be creative with either loan deals with options to buy or young starlets plucked from across Europe.  The latest of these rumours is linking Spurs to Metz youngster Pape Sarr and flying Rubin Kazan winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

For now, at least attention turns to Wolves this afteroon and the return to Molineux of former boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

After that, I see no let-up to the feverish speculation and plethora of names linked to and from the club.  I will be expectantly waiting to see the shape of the squad come September the 1st.  COYS

 



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