Over the course of the summer, the Gareth Bale saga raged across the back pages. Each day fuelled by Madrid’s President Florentino Pérez concocting a new offer for Tottenham’s Welsh starlet, dangling Los Galácticos Fábio Coentrão and Ángel di María in front of Levy in order to prise Bale away. Eventually settled at an astronomical £86 million, André Villas-Boas faced the conundrum of replacing the worlds most expensive player.
Throughout the window however, before Bale had even left for Spain, Villas-Boas was scouting and strengthening his squad for the inevitable departure. Signing a total of 7 players, and not just players to cover for the squad outgoings, 7 players all representing their countries at a first team level. Villas-Boas has not only attempted to replace Bale, he’s attempted to build the basis of a new squad around his departure.
We’ve already seen Roberto Soldado
leading the Spurs line this season; confident, experienced, though his true eye for goal has apparently yet to focus with his two goals, Tottenham’s only Premier League goals so far this season, being both from the spot. Pauliniho, bought for a hefty £20 million, has also featured as a new presence in midfield along with the French Ètienne Capoue whose reputation from Toulouse is that of a hard working, powerful midfielder.
Villas-Boas also managed to sign Nacer Chadli, an ‘exciting’ Belgian winger from FC Twente, Argentine winger Erik Lamela
from Roma, a 21 year old who managed 19 goals in two seasons and Vlad Chiriche of Steaua Bucharest for £8.5 million. Not forgetting of course, the very highly sought after Dane Christian Eriksen
for a minuscule fee of £11.5 million.
This is not to mention the talent signed by Spurs the season previous that included Lewis Holtby and Hugo Lloris.
Any one of these players would be a marquee signing for any other club. Teams such as Liverpool and Arsenal have been considering moves for players like Capoue and Eriksen for a few seasons already, but Villas-Boas has apparently swooped in and nabbed some of the most promising, but yet already established, young players from Europe from right under their noses.
The signings made by Villas-Boas this season have injected some flair into this Tottenham side, the possibilities of who will make the team sheet are enough to give any manager a headache worth having, Gareth who? It’s surely only a matter of time before Tottenham will become a force in the Premier League with talent like that, right?
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind, fan, manager or player alike, that Tottenham have an immensely formidable squad bursting with talent. A squad that, on paper, can really challenge for more than fourth place. Realistically however, this team needs some time to cooperate before Spurs can break out that Premiership Winners champagne they’ve been saving since, well, 1992.
If Villas-Boas has pulled together the right players that are going to revitalise the title race with their instant connection and clever management, then Villas-Boas has pulled off the deals of the transfer window. It has been done before, see Chelsea a lá Mourinho 2004-06, and Tottenham have every much a chance as Liverpool or Arsenal do this season, but with such an overhaul of players, Spurs will have to adjust through that phase where players begin to really play well with the other players around them.
We’re only 3 games into the season, and our league leaders are currently a team missing their star striker, but have won each game 1-0 so far. We won’t be able to see these new Tottenham players for what they’re really worth, which is £109 million for those interested, until at the very least a few games down the line. One things certain though, Villas-Boas has certainly made Tottenham a completely new team to watch this season.
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