Spurs transfer window review – a stronger squad but no new striker

Pochettino Levy

On the face of it, this was a reasonable transfer window for Spurs, certainly if you like a bargain. First the positives.

We bought players in several of the key positions that needed strengthening, primarily left back and central defence. We also now have a reserve goalkeeper who isn’t in his forties.

Release clauses helped us get good value for money with the purchases of Federico Fazio and Eric Dier, while Benjamin Stambouli had just one year left to run on his contract with Montpelier. The deal we made with Swansea saw us offload Sigurdsson who was surplus to requirements (I didn’t agree) and get two useful players in return.

Tottenham managed to sell or loan out some unwanted players from a bloated squad. While most will agree with the exit of the likes of Gomez, Livermore and Fryers, the loss of Holtby, Sandro and Dawson caused emotions amongst supporters to run high. While I agreed with the logic, there’s something very wrong with Michael Dawson in a Hull shirt.

Michael Dawson in a Hull shirt

On the negative side, we didn’t fill two areas many identified as requiring immediate attention. There was no left sided wide player to complement Eric Lamela on the right. Most disappointing of all, there was no late move for a star striker. In fact all the new additions are in primarily defensive positions. Where was Koplyanka, Bony, even Welbeck?

While the players we bought look solid, they aren’t the exciting reinforcements we had hoped for. Fazio looks big and sturdy but doesn’t have the potential of Musacchio. Stambouli sounds like an accomplished, hard working defensive player but maybe without the dynamism or attacking dimension of Schneiderlin – although I admit I am relying on what I’ve read when assessing these two.

Worryingly, it feels like, yet again, Daniel Levy has not backed his man. Andre Villas-Boas reportedly wanted Moutinho, a transfer that failed due to third party ownership problems and Levy’s reluctance to pay top dollar. He would have been our erstwhile manager’s key player in the centre to knit the team together, his trusted lieutenant, his man in the dressing room. The failed attempts at signing Musacchio (third party ownership again) and especially Schneiderlin, feel like deja vu.

It’s always hard to assess these things straight away – if you had asked fans this time last year, most would have said our seven signings were a triumph. This time round we already had a decent squad, small improvements were all that was needed.

So overall some good additions but in terms of adding goal threat and supporting the manager, let’s hope we don’t live to regret the opportunities missed.

Discuss this with me on Twitter: @ABPSpurs

Did Spurs have a successful transfer window? Is Daniel Levy the king of the deal? Let me know in the comments below.

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22 thoughts on “Spurs transfer window review – a stronger squad but no new striker

  1. Nick white

    I think we still require a goal scorer, it’s all very well have a solid back line and creative / defensive midfield, but if you need a dozen chances to score a goal, top six is about where we are at. Maybe Tottenham ain’t in the big league, we just haven’t the funds available to us that the gooners obviously have.😤

  2. Mikee

    What do Spurs fans want? We didn’t get Schnederlin because Southampton wouldn’t sell. End of. We didn’t get Musacchio because of third party ownership. End of. It’s all right for fans to say “keep throwing money at these players clubs, they’ll sell eventually.” We aren’t that rich. Also, don’t forget, Poch WANTED the original players, and when he couldn’t get them, he wanted the two replacement players we got instead, (Stambouli and Fazio), None of us, (me certainly) hadn’t really heard much of Schneiderlin before Poch took him under his wing. I know nothing about Musacchio, Fazio or Stambouli, so I don’t know what we’ve missed or, in the case of the latter two, what we’ve bought, but Poch wants them, so I’ll trust in his judgement. Who knows, maybe he can turn them into even better players than the two he wanted in the first place. Perhaps it’s time for Spurs to buy unknown gems and turn them into polished diamonds. We spent £100m+ last season and THAT didn’t turn out too well did it?
    Come on Poch, work your magic and let’s turn Spurs into a TEAM that can win things.

    1. AnythingButPenalties Post author

      I am quite excited to see what Fazio and Stambouli will be like in the Premier League and hopefully they’ll turn out to be gems as you say.

      I think I’m slightly more disappointed we didn’t buy a left midfielder or striker. The defensive strengthening was more important but one attacking signing would have been nice.

  3. david gover

    We needed a Top Goal Scorer, look at the Top Clubs they all have at least one.

    Will finish in the Top 10 if we are Luckly.

  4. Gerald

    As has already been stated we have needed a top rate striker at the start of the season. Against West Ham & QPR we were able to “muddle through” but as soon as the serious “stuff” started we have again been found seriously wanting. Every other club in the EPL has invested “up front”, we however, although our goal difference was one of the worst in the top 10 last season, have not. That totally defies logic. It would seem as though the whole team/squad has gone down the drain since the sale of one player (Bale) whereas the money we made should/could have made us one of the strongest clubs in the league. Very bad choices were made by both the then manager and the Chairman I am sorry to say.

  5. db6162

    My view is that we will be a much stronger team now the class of 2013 have had chance to bed down and that the purchases we have made will provide strength in depth in defense. I would rather Poch took longer to look at the squad and decided where we really need strengthening either in January or next summer. Hope Soldado will come good but fear that next year we will need to pay mega bucks for a fit again Benteke or Bony.

  6. Olly

    With Adebayor off to the African Cup Of Nations in January we will now HAVE to buy a striker in the always pricey January transfer window when every single option will cost more, this was a big mistake, in fact we should have got a replacement for Defoe when he left so they would have time to bed in. Levy will now HAVE to spend 25-30mil on a striker in Jan. that would have cost 15-20mil now. We have under spent in the last 4 years transfer windows compared to all our rivals, I suspect this failure will lead to another star player Lloris) leaving at the end of the year after we fall very short of CL qualification. I guess we wait until the stadium is built and the club is sold before we start to seriously try to compete for CL or the league. Shame Levy doesn’t live the moto “To Dare Is To Do” but the next owners will embrace the philosophy. We are playing slightly better football this year and could have a good cup run or something so it could be worse but if I had to describe our position in one word it would be “inertia”
    Oliver Dyson

      1. Olly

        I would say that is a good bet but his price will go up alot once he is fit again, the names I was hoping to see linked with us were Llorente and Rabiot. Both good players but not out of our league to sign and not a huge amount of competition for them. Lavazzi would not have been a bad shout either but probably wages would have been out of our price range.

    1. terry

      quite right oliver we buy bargain basement make a profic every window levy lewis will build stadium then sell these people not sligtest bit interested in football can only hope some mega rich buys and we can then bulid a great club

  7. Derek Herschman

    Apart from Erickson; we should have traded other 6 -previous window who give 50-60% effort!
    Sold;Noughton not good enough: Lennon who can’t cross ball past any defender 99% of time or shoot, tackle & Townsend,thinks he’s-joke another Bale!
    Kept Holtby always 110% effort!
    PURCHASED: Bony / Javier / Left winger / Morgan / Masarchio Top 4
    Jay was a gamble until full recovery?
    Will be lucky to Finish in Top 10 with present group SOB!
    Not managers fault but if we do expect Levy to blame him!
    Time for Levy & Mr Wine & Dine sports director to QUIT or Let Go S.A.P!

  8. Mikee

    This window has been quite productive for us. I think that we are one of only three clubs who actually made a profit during the transfer dealings. We allowed a number of players to leave, including fan favourites Sandro, Dawson and Holtby. Obviouslt Poch didn’t think that these were players he could work with and so, we have to trust in his judgement. We’ve now got 10 days until the next fixture, time for Poch to bed the new players into the club, and hopefully get them playing HIS way. After that we have about four months until the window opens again, during which time, the manager can decide what players we need and hopefully get them.
    I know that a load of you will be shouting that we need a superstar striker and we should have just gone out and bought one for stupid money. I’ll say it again, WE AREN’T THAT RICH. We spent £26m on Soldado last window, are we just supposed to let him go for peanuts and buy a new player? Let’s see if Poch can turn him into the player that we need.
    Let’s be sensible. The days when we were a rich club and we set new transfer records are way in the past. We have to operate within a budget. Let’s give the manager a few months and see what he can do.

    1. Gerald

      I agree with all you say Mikee however from what I have read here nobody is criticizing Poch, WE are all however questioning the actions of the 3 previous managers, supposedly sanctioned by the chairman, whereby we spent stupid money on very mediocre players and we have not “unloaded” them. The club has more mid-field players than any other in the EPL yet we have only 2 recognized “strikers”, neither of which is any good. Being a team that is renown for it’s expansive football that can not be allowed to continue. For several seasons we have had the worst “goal difference” in the top 10, that is unacceptable if it is not rectified. The club should sell 2/3 of our mid-field players and invest in 1 “good” striker.

      1. Mikee

        I would suggest Gerald that it’s no good anybody criticizing previous managers. They spent the money and they’re gone. The idea that we’ve got players that we need to “unload” is fine if a) you can find a club that is willing to pay something like we paid for them, b) match or improve their wages and c) you can get the player to leave the club. I’m pretty sure that we can all agree which players we, as fans, think should go, but if the player would rather warm the bench for a large wage packet every week, who can blame them?
        We heard stories that Wellbeck was on his way to us, on loan. Apparently ManU wanted to sell him outright, (£15m?), and on current reported wages of £115,000 a week. I for one don’t think that the guy is wort that kind of fee or indeed those kind of wages. However Arsenal thaought that he was, so he went to them.
        Once again, let’s give Poch the time and see what he can do. After all, Van Gaal has spent an absolute fortune at United and doesn’t look (to me) to have started building a TEAM. He said that he has a choice between us and United. Thank feck he chose THEM.

      2. Gerald

        Again, I can’t disagree and Welbeck would certainly not have been my choice at those prices/costs either. The situation whereby we desperately need/needed a “good” striker is not new, Poch would have seen it when playing against us last season (and before) as well as on recordings, it was blatantly obvious for all to see. That is why I say, and have said for several seasons, that instead of investing in mediocre mid-field players, both offensive and defensive, we should have found at least one “good” striker. We tried one admittedly (Soldado) but he has, as yet, not worked-out. I agree with others, give him time under Poch but it would seem that he is not convinced either. My humble opinion is, get shot, at any cost, of the bad players, some club will take them if OUR price is right and then we can start building a team that CAN compete for the CL places whereby our income will rise drastically to compensate for the losses we make on the players. We would also be able to go further in all the cup competitions thus increasing our income through TV and ticket sales at more matches. I could be very wrong but I have been a very loyal supporter since 1960 and have “seen” the good times with Spurs, I have also seen some bad times and quite frankly I don’t like what I am seeing or hearing now. I have the utmost faith in the new manager, I just wish that the Chairman was as focused on the “pitch” and who to play to get results as he is of the balance sheet (which I totally agree is very important).

  9. OC7

    Well I am pretty fuming about the transfer window to be honest. I hoped for a big clear out over the summer and all we’ve done is clear out a few players that loved the club, in favour of keeping players that don’t seem that arsed about winning or losing.

    Clearly Pochettino wasn’t a fan of Holtby or Sandro and while obviously I hope he is right, my gut tells me otherwise. I would have preferred that we kept them over Dembele, and it doesn’t seem logical to me that we would bring in a new guy with no PL experience in place of two quality players already settled.

    Having said all that, happy with the defensive additions, Davies, Fazio and Dier, I think our first choice back 5 will be very strong by the start of October.

    1. Mikee

      OC7, while you say that you are fuming because we didn’t have a big clear out, the club can only let players go if, A) they WANT to go and B) if another club is prepared to actually buy them.
      Look at BAE. It should be pretty obvious to him that he wasn’t wanted by AVB, Sherwood or Poch. Nobody seems to want him and thus, he is prepared to just pick up his wages every week until his contract runs down. Look at Daws, you couldn’t ask for a better club professional, yet every time he played we had “supporters” saying that he was a liability, ans that he wasn’t good enough for “our” club. Sandro hasn’t been the same “beast” since his injury and Holtby doesn’t fit into Pochs plans for whatever reason. As I said earlier, the club employed Poch to build us into a TEAM. I just hope that the club, and more importantly the fans give him enough time to actually achieve that plan.


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