The 2013 summer transfer window has been exciting, sanguine, and at times worrisome for Tottenham Hotspur supporters. Three transfers all believed to have exceeded the 8 Million Euro mark have come in the form of Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, and Roberto Soldado. 25 year old defensive midfielder Etienne Capoue may soon be next and help bolster a midfield that was decimated with injuries at points in the 2012-13 campaign. Andre Villas-Boas cut deadwood players William Gallas and David Bentley amongst others in a bid to make the team slimmer and more streamline. For all the positives, the sale of Steven Caulker induced much head scratching and questioning looks. Furthermore the merit of Clint Dempsey’s return to Major League Soccer could be questioned for his performances may have lacked at times but his brand could have seen Tottenham branch into the United States on the backs of NBC’s new Premier League television rights. Of course, a certain Welshman has made his presence known on the front, back, and middle pages of papers all over.
Gareth Bale has risen from Southampton academy player, to lackluster left back, to ruining Maicon’s reputation over two legs in 2010, to being touted as the most expensive transfer ever. I have refrained from mentioning Gareth Bale extensively in my last ten articles because my opinion on the transfer and on Bale himself has changed throughout the saga. At first I felt that Gareth Bale would not leave, I understood the allure of Champions League football, but felt that the club had placed a lot of trust on him and had allowed him to grow and that he should serve at least one more season with the club. This feeling however left as the summer dragged on and Daniel Levy had failed to settle on a striker to help propel the club to the top 4. I was content with letting him leave and when an offer was reported of over 85 Million I put my stamp of approval on the transfer. The deal that struck me as being the most beneficent to the team was the reported deal of 51 Million and Fabio Coentrao and Angel di Maria a move that would have provided Tottenham with the players and the cash they needed. However, after Real Madrid’s continual media campaign had sickened me beyond belief and reports involving 20 Million installments I no longer had a desire to see Bale don the white of Real Madrid.
While this saga involving Gareth Bale is nowhere near completion it could be a sign of things to come if the club continues to fail in their pursuit of Champions League football. Gareth Bale, Hugo Lloris, and Jan Vertonghen are full-fledged internationals, leaders in their respective international squads, and are generally considered some of the brightest and youngest talents in their positions.
Recently, a report in a Dutch newspaper based in Belgium claims that another Spanish giant, FC Barcelona are attempting to seal a transfer for Jan Vertonghen for 27 Million Euros. A pro-Barcelona paper picked up the story and the report has spread throughout the footballing world.
After being exposed by Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, and AC Milan in the Champions League, the Blaugrana began scouring European clubs for a center back. Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano, and Marc Bartra were all used with mixed results which caused Pique and Barcelona’s form to suffer. Thiago Silva denied a move insisting his future was with Paris Saint-Germain, Daniel Agger was also linked but the Dane looks to stay with the Merseyside club, and Dortmund defender Mats Hummels was also believed to be a target but the links have since gone cold.
Jan Vertonghen was involved with Dutch giants Ajax since the age of 16. He was part of a squad that included World Cup starter Maarten Stekelenburg, Luis Suarez, and Thomas Vermaelen. After a season on loan and a season spent injured, Vertonghen fulfilled his potential in a breakout 2008-09 season. Under the tutelage of Marco van Basten, Martin Jol, and Frank de Boer his form ascended as he attracted interest from AC Milan, Newcastle United, FC Barcelona, and Manchester City. Tottenham were linked in the 2011-12 season and after staving off interest from Arsenal, the Belgian international joined the Lilywhites in 2012. After his transfer Jan Vertonghen quickly became a fan favorite and he smashed expectations with his exciting ball-playing libero style. In his first season in English football, Vertonghen was named to the PFA Team of the Year alongside Leighton Baines, Rio Ferdinand, and Pablo Zabaleta and earned a Player of the Month award for March.
Daniel Levy will surely squash this offer of the 27 Million Euros for Jan Vertonghen. The 2013-14 season looks to be a breakout year for Tottenham; their current success is hinged on Gareth Bale not because he is bigger than the club but because Real Madrid’s nefarious plan would actually harm the club. FC Barcelona will be looking for a goalkeeper and a defender during the 2014 summer transfer window as they plan for Puyol’s retirement and Victor Valdes’ desire to leave, if Tottenham fail to qualify for Champions League football Hugo Lloris and Jan Vertonghen could be the subject of bids from the Catalan club.
My question for the comments below is what price would be enough to pry the services of Jan Vertonghen or Hugo Lloris away from Tottenham? How do you assess Tottenham’s 2013-14 chances of Champions League? Are you concerned by Barcelona’s continued interest of Jan Vertonghen?
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