Tottenham Hotspur’s Summer Transfer Conundrum
With about two months left in the transfer market, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp will need to show some life in making additional changes to the squad. So far there has not been much movement in the acquiring of new players. The lone player to arrive at White Hart Lane is Brad Friedel, the veteran goal keeper from Aston Villa on a free transfer. Part of the problem is the need to balance the books at the club, which Redknapp has made clear and is a top priority with the chairman, so at the moment they have little cash on hand for buying. So, the only way to secure more funds is to sell off their surplus players or perhaps others as well to raise the necessary funds.
However, the only player that has been sold is Jamie O’Hara to Wolverhampton Wanderers for £5 million — completing his loan deal. Jonathan Woodgate was released on June 16, so no money has procured from that.
Redknapp wants to sell players he doesn’t see being part of his future plans at the club: Robbie Keane, David Bentley, Wilson Palacios, Niko Kranjcar, Jermaine Jenas, Sebastein Bassong, Alan Hutton, Younes Kaboul, and most likely Heurelho Gomes. It seems that the three main strikers, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe, could go if the price is right. In fact, the website Footy Bunker is reporting the club would entertain offers of £10-12 million pounds for Defoe, claiming they can’t wait for Defoe to get back into form. It’s not to say those players are not good. In fact many are quite good but not at Spurs. A bid for Robbie Keane for £2 million by Blackburn was rejected by Spurs and to be fair I think Keane is worth more that, maybe around £6-8 million would be fair. Granted he has not played well lately for Spurs but he did have a good loan spell at Celtic and has done well on international duty. I think there is still life in the player.
It was a shame that David Bentley did not work out, I have been a fan of him but he just hasn’t worked into Harry’s plans. Maybe his move to Spurs from Blackburn was too soon and needed more time to develop if he was going to be the next David Beckham. So, the question is where is the money?
There have been talks about Wilson Palacios making a move to Italy for around £10-11 million, Gomes fancies a return to Holland, Bentley has been linked with Fulham and Atletico Madrid, Kaboul may return to France, while there’s a possibility of Jenas making a move to Turkey. Plus, Kranjcar has made it clear he wants to move on so he can get back to first team playing. It appeared that Palacios’ move to Italy was going to take place but Spurs wanted to recoup the money they spent on him, which I can understand to a point but if the goal is to make money from the sale of players maybe a small loss isn’t that bad. Now there are reports linking him and Kaboul with a move to Paris St. Germain. I mean you don’t want to give away players, as in the Keane example but you need to be realistic as well. Many of the players that Spurs want to sell are making a lot in pay each week. For example Keane is the highest paid player making £80,000 per week. Harry states about 4 to 5 players need to be sold so they can get the pay under control and balance the books and then bring in new talent. Quite the process. But if some of the stated players that are available for selling aren’t sold or just a couple are sold then the club may have to consider something they don’t want to and that is the sale of one of their core players.
Spurs have made it very clear that their core players are Gareth Bale, Rafael van der Vaart, Luka Modric and — to a lesser degree — Aaron Lennon and Tom Huddlestone. Of course there has been interest in a couple of these players by other clubs. Modric with Chelsea and Manchester United and just recently Lennon with Liverpool. In fact Liverpool appear to be offering £20 million for him. So, if some of the surplus players aren’t sold then the club may want to consider the sale of one and only one their core players to help raise the necessary money so they can bring in new talent. As a Spurs fan I would not really want any of them to go but areas of the squad need some new blood particularly up front. I think Bale and van der Vaart should stay. Their partnership on the pitch has been very positive and Bale is young and has plenty of time to further develop his skills.
I like Aaron Lennon. His style of play is very suited to the way Harry likes to play with fast attacking football. If I was to choose one of the core players I would say let it be Luka Modric. Modric has stated he would like to move to a Champions League playing club and further he has stated he would like to play for Chelsea. Of course he backtracked on his statements but in most cases the first words spoken are the most truthful ones. Chelsea offered around £25 million for him but Spurs, in a very angry tone, rejected the offer, saying they would not sell him or other key players. It has been reported July 3, 2011 by The Daily Mirror that Chelsea would pay £45 million for Modric. I know many pundits have said that Spurs can’t sell Modric. If they do they will go downhill and just be another average club in the league. My question is what makes Modric so special. Granted he is a talented player. He arrived as Spurs on a transfer of £16.5 million, has played 90 league matches and scored 9 times. At the beginning of the last season he admitted publicly he was not playing well and needed to do better and so he did improve in the second part of the season. The problem is that the media and others have built him up so much he has become the player you can’t part with. Just because he had a good run during the last part of the season doesn’t make him, the player he is being made out to be. Plus, if he really wants to leave the best thing is to let him go. An unhappy player or a player that wants to leave can cause unity problems on the field and in the locker room. I say get what crazy amount of money for him if he truly wants to leave and let him leave. If the story of Chelsea offering £45 million is true, then take it. With money from that sale and along with the possible sale of other players, Spurs will dramatically increase their spending ability and get the players they want.
If the plan of selling lesser players doesn’t work then go with the idea of selling one core player, in my view Modric. With the sale of him and hopefully other players as well, then you can bring in the likes of a Gary Cahill or whomever. For example, good strikers are not cheap and they seem to be the area where Spurs want to strengthen their side, so the idea could work. Granted it is not the most desirable idea. Harry likes to wheel and deal and the chairman is known for being cheap, but that is going to have to change. You’re not always going to land good deals like van der Vaart, in fact hardly ever. But let’s hope deals are in the works to offload the players they want to let go and that are just being very secretive about the whole process.