Tottenham’s 2013 Summer Signings – Hit or Miss?

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Out with the Bale and in with the new. Spurs spent big last summer trying to bolster their squad after the record breaking departure of Gareth Bale. A total of seven big name players were signed, with their transfers setting the club back an eye watering £105 million.

The reward for all this expenditure was failure to clinch an elusive Champions League spot while Bale was busy winning the tournament with Real Madrid.

The vast difference in the fortunes of the new signings made for fascinating viewing over the course of the season. So who was a hit at The Lane and who was wide of the mark?

Roberto Soldado certainly failed to live up to the reputation he established for himself in Spain. The former Valencia striker netted 82 times in his three seasons in La Liga, but wasn’t able to replicate this form in the Premier League. Six goals in 26 games looks bad enough, but when you consider four of those were from penalties, it’s easy to see why The Telegraph labelled him one of the 10 worst buys of the season. Miss

Club record signing Erik Lamela is another who failed to live up to expectation, commanding a £30m price tag when he signed from Roma. Injured for much of the season and misfiring when he wasn’t, Lamela’s torrid time at White Hart Lane was epitomised by the #findlamela campaign on twitter. He struggled to adapt to the English game in 2013 and did not feature at all in 2014. Miss

The other winger drafted in to fill the Bale sized hole on Tottenham’s flanks is Nacer Chadli. Chadli failed to recreate any of promise he had shown while at Twente, offering very little in attack. A welcome alternative down the wing but nothing more than a bit-part player, Chadli has a lot more to do to establish himself as a Spurs starter. Miss

The other player arriving from the Eredivisie was Ajax’s Christian Eriksen. The playmaker was the star of the season for Spurs and the stand out player in not just the midfield, where he both set up chances and netted them himself, but also in the squad. He may have started slowly but the Danish playmaker has shown his talent. Hit

Vlad Chiriches also shone for Spurs this season. He established himself as a strong centre back and challenged well for a starting spot. A series of injures hampered his season but he will certainly be back stronger come August. Hit

Finally, the mixed fortunes of Spurs’ two midfield signings, Paulinho and Etienne Capoue. Capoue lacked consistency when he was fit and injuries led to inconsistent and disappointing performances. He was almost sold in January. Miss

Paulinho’s performances were somewhat better, but his style of play was not one that worked well in the Tottenham set up last season. Criticised by former Coach Tim Sherwood for his unwillingness to use his weak foot, he suffered an indifferent first season, but there is certainly room for improvement, especially under the style of play Pochettino is likely to implement.  Hit (just)

It will be interesting to see who is sold in the coming weeks, and of those who stay, whether or not they flourish under Pochettino. The jury is certainly out on a number of last season’s signings.

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  1. Hit for Chiriches? Hasn’t looked that great. And Paulinho is an OK box to box player but not defensive enough to hold and doesn’t score enough for AM. All apart from Eriksen are Miss for me.

  2. I do not believe a single one of them can judged definitively until the end of next season (assuming we keep them all, of course). They were all overseas players, six of them were under 25 YO at point of signing, AVB got himself into general a tizzy (and seemingly tried to use the signings to make a statement), and was then replaced by a man with zero managerial experience, and not the full complement of coaching badges. Many of them picked up injuries…few of them had an opportunity to get a run in the team and build any confidence. That makes it patently acceptable to plead 'one year to settle in' IMVHO.

  3. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, none of them are good enough, Eriksen is the best of a bad bunch but he wouldn't have got in the side when Modric, Bale and VDV were about , Paulinho is slow as arse holes, the rest are not worth commenting on.



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