So we find ourselves at the dawn of a “new era” for Tottenham Hotspur, under their new messiah Andres Villas-Boas and with everybody’s favourite puppetmaster Daniel Levy pulling the strings. We’ve witnessed the start of the old guard bowing out with Ledley King’s retirement and are beginning to see a rejuvenation of their squad with Vertonghen and Sigurрsson being brought in, also Bale being signed up on a four year contract. But it was always going to be Tottenham’s midfield maestro Modric who would cause the most trouble and as usual the Modric merry go round is in full swing. So the football machine will trundle on, Modric will leave and Spurs will pocket an estimated €35-45 million into an already modest transfer kitty. And Villas-Boas and every other Spurs fan will ask the question, how do we fill the 5 ft 7 hole left in our midfield?
AVB will be studying his squad as they tour the US, looking for weaknesses and strengths and will return to the transfer market accordingly, but will he find a replacement for our playmaker inside the squad? AVB will most likely play a 4-3-3 formation, a box to box defensive midfielder step forward Mr. Parker, an attacking minded mid in Van der Vaart and then a deep lying playmaker. So with Sandro as cover for Parker and Sigurdsson as cover for an injury prone Van der Vaart, so who’s left to fill the gap? Tom Huddlestone looks to be Tottenham’s only credible option internally.
There is a serious gap in quality between Tottenham’s Player of the season 2011-12 and the Thud. Huddlestone does have a pinpoint accurate long pass and his thunderbolt long shots can strike fear into any keeper. But his mobility was in serious question, and that was before he spent a whole season sitting on the bench injured.
Also he lacks a certain flair and creative aspect that is a bare bones necessity for the playmaker type Spurs need to push forward, and I feel if Villa-Boas were too simply shove Huddlestone in the playmaker hole we may do a lot worse than 4th place next season.
I feel it will be a very hard task for Villas-Boas to find a player better than Luka; who will be willing to come to Tottenham. Modric is one of the most creative midfield talents in football at the moment, as only David Silva, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Ronaldo, Sneijder or Pirlo would rank above Modric. And if I see any of these stars pictured with a Spurs jersey on the back pages of a newspaper, I will duly print this article out and eat it whole. As realistically we don’t have the financial backing in terms of exorbitant transfer fees and our wage cap restrictions also combine to hinder the move of a real superstar to White Hart Lane. The idea of a world class playmaker taking a step down from one of Europe’s best sides to Spurs; who next season will be playing football in the Europa League is realistically only a faint fairytale.
So the powers at be in the Spurs boardroom must find the best replacement possible. The most likely suspect at the moment seems to be Joao Moutinho, as Porto’s playmaker he was part of Porto’s treble winning side two years ago under the management of one Andre Villas-Boas. He played the very same playmaker role in the same 4-3-3 formation so will have no problem adapting to the manager or his formation, the only negative aspect is how well will he survive with the physical side to the English Premier League.
He is valued at €24 million a price which Levy and Villas-Boas have originally viewed as too steep. But Porto boss Vitor Pereira is reported to be in no rush to sell his chief playmaker Moutinho. It seems Levy will have to fork out the €24 million if Spurs are to secure Moutinho’s signature, but if Tottenham receive the rumoured €40 million from Real Madrid or PSG along with our existing transfer kitty, then surely that would cover the cost of Moutinho and some badly needed striker reinforcements.
Either way Tottenham need to keep signing players of Champions League calibre to keep in line with Chelsea, as they bankroll a new title challenging side, Manchester City’s starting eleven with its combined worth of over €300 million and Manchester United’s team with even Alex Ferguson splashing cash this transfer window. So with AVB promising so much and with Luka Modric’s bags basically packed, set to leave a gaping hole in the middle of this Spurs side. I just pray Levy has a master plan and will sign a top quality replacement for the imminent exit of Modric or this Tottenham side will slip backwards having being so close to the old glory glory days at the Lane.
By Jack Power
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