Spurs’ Grand Transfer Plan

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Bill_Oddie, Aug 3, 2014.

  • by Bill_Oddie, Aug 3, 2014 at 8:05 AM
  • Bill_Oddie

    Bill_Oddie Everything in Moderation Staff

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    Who’s in. Who’s out. And how the rules on squad size and composition are directing our transfer activity. Plus, why 17 is the magic number this summer...

    Spurs activity in the transfer market this summer has – a reserve keeper aside – followed a very clear strategy. We’re after young, technically sound players whose value is likely to grow significantly. In fact, this has been our strategy for a long time, as witnessed by quadrupling our investment in Yago Falque this week despite him appearing in a grand total of one first team match. You can imagine Daniel Levy lying back in a bathtub and barking at an acolyte to toss in another bundle of new fifties for him to swim around in like Scrooge McDuck after that one.

    But it’s not all about the money (although you can appreciate where Spurs fan Jessie J got that idea following a club run by Levy). There’s also a need to conform our squad within the Premier League 25-man squad limitations, and – more specifically – the 17 man limit on players who are not homegrown or under 21. For the coming season, under 21 players must be born on or after January 1, 1993.

    Our concluded business this summer has so far seen Dier (under 21) and Davies (both under 21 and homegrown) sign, with possibly Lascelles (also both), and maybe Schneiderlin (homegrown – just) possibly coming too. But it’s the 17 non-homegrown players where we really need to get it right as when you look at that list, there isn’t a lot of room for manoeuvre.

    Currently, according to the Spurs official site, we have exactly 17 non-homegrown first team players born before January 1, 1993:

    Goalkeepers – Friedel, Vorm, Lloris

    Defenders – Kaboul, Vertonghen, Chiriches, Assou-Ekotto

    Midfielders – Paulinho, Lamela, Dembele, Chadli, Eriksen, Holtby, Capoue, Sandro

    Strikers – Adebayor, Soldado

    That means if we are to sign another player, who does not qualify as homegrown or under 21, we have to replace one of the above.

    Easy enough for the mooted arrival of Mateo Musacchio, who would presumably just swap in for the ostracised Assou-Ekotto. Good luck finding a new club, Benny.

    Outside of that list, currently the Spurs first team squad contains nine players that qualify as homegrown and over the age limit: Walker, Rose, Naughton, Dawson, Fryers, Lennon, Townsend, Mason and Carroll.

    (Note: Kane, Bentaleb, Davies and Dier are all not yet old enough to need naming in the 25-man squad. Amazing when you think of how good they already are.)

    So, with 17 non-homegrown and 9 homegrown, at least one of those names above will miss out. Presumably Carroll and/or Mason will go on loan to make that happen. But for any other arrival, they’d have to guarantee to be better than the above. Suddenly it’s easier to understand why we’ve considered offers for Chiriches and Dawson, or even Sandro and Holtby.

    It’s also worth keeping an eye on the development squad. Hall, Khumalo, Ceballos, Fredericks and Obika are all of the age where they’d have to be named but it’s unlikely any would. Presumably this means all will be forced to find a loan or permanent deal to set up the rest of their careers (and give Levy the chance to top up that bathtub of cash of his).

    The limitations on the squad explain Spurs’ moves in the transfer market. We aren’t likely to be after many players over 21 unless they are a significant, proven upgrade on a specific member of the existing ‘complete’ squad. Selling a couple of players is possible if their value is at its peak – which it probably is for Kyle Naughton, Michael Dawson or Aaron Lennon. The only question would be whether their replacements can be found either cheaper or in a player that will produce more profit down the line, whether bought in or brought up from the development squads.

    Our owners aren’t afraid to spend big money but only if they see a likely large return on their investment. Pochettino doesn’t seem to mind this as he likes working with young talent (hard to tell but doubtful he’d have come to Spurs if he did).

    When seeing us linked with names in the press, it’s worth bearing this in mind. What kind of return would Micah Richards offer on a transfer fee in 3 years when he is 29? Or Remy when he’s 30? Schneiderlin and Rodriguez on the other hand are bound to retain their value at the very least in a few years time. Football won’t suddenly stop being rich or investing silly money in players and, whatever you think of Daniel Levy, his approach is an excellent way to ensure Spurs remain competitive and produce enough revenue to grow the business on and off the pitch.

    Last point on ages. With Benny as good as gone and Dawson clinging on, that would leave Adebayor, at 30, as our oldest player. Soldado is the sole 29-year-old. We will have a first team squad with more than 10 players aged 23 or under. That’s exceptionally young and also worth remembering if we struggle for form or concede silly, late goals at any stage during the coming season. Maybe it is worth keeping Dawson after all. Friedel is unlikely to see any significant game time this campaign, so where do we turn for leaders?

    The one weakness in our current transfer strategy is that it makes it very hard for us to purchase proven, experienced performers who inspire and command respect from those around them, who have been there and done it before.

    But that just means we have to develop our own players that fit that description. And that is what excites me most about this season ahead and those beyond under the current regime. Maybe we already have a new Ledley King or Steve Perryman in our squad and don’t know it yet.

    With Spurs, you can always rest assured it’ll be fun finding out.
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by Bill_Oddie, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. greaves
    Bill. Never drink when doing this. Get these the wrong way round and ... well... Let's just say, I speak from experience.

    Everything else you say, I am fine with.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  2. Bennys LOL
    fantastic write up and makes a lot of sense, i agree, levy does have a great business model but does anyone think we will win anything with it?
  3. HotspurFC1950

    Said with a high pitched voice.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. HotspurFC1950

    We either won't win anything without it or go broke trying.
  5. Jonesey
    Not sure "fun" is the word i would use but good observations.

    In terms of 'on-the-pitch' it's looking distinctly like another season of transition given our transfer window so far - especially in relation to the quality being added to our Top-5 rivals.

    Even Newcastle have added some quality players in defence, midfield and up top and look like they could be strong this season.

    I'm not expecting much this season because i question whether we have the quality to achieve Top-5.

    Our defence is still a big concern but, that said, with Holtby showing promise in pre-season and Lamela on fire we effectively have two new signings in midfield. We are still worryingly thin up front - thinner than we have been for some seasons in fact.

    If we don't sign someone like Rodriguez who will guarantee goals it looks like we will be relying a lot (probably too much) on our midfield in this department - unless Poch can come up with a starting team that can help Soldado find his shooting boots.

    Poch has a big job ahead of him.
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  6. dwayne-mooney
    Great article.

    I would only say that just because you are older doesn't make you a leader.
  7. TorontoYid
    We have the quality but they have under-performed massively and not even come close to their potential. Poch seems to be good at getting the best out of players and if he does that with Spurs, I see no reason, even without buying lots more players, we won't be in next years Champions League.
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  8. Mullers
    Yes they are, we only spent big last year because of the Bale money.
    Jol need a fourth striker we go Rasiak for 2 million.
    Levy failed to spend big when we sold Berbatov and Keane, ended up taking a yts striker on loan from the buying club at the beginning of the season. How humiliating.
    When we needed to spend big when we got CL football, they didn't do it. Redknapp said he needed a few more top players to really challenge, he wanted Tevez and Cahill but instead got Saha and Neilsen. From 2011 to 2013 he chased Leandro Damiao and failed to get him, Redknapp and AVB both suffered as a result.
    When we needed to spend big to get Moutinho to replace Modric they didn't do it and because they didn't do it we've suffered ever since.

    We've come a long way since Sugar's day but some of Levy's errors have cost us big.

    Looking at things in the cold light of day without any Alice in Wonderland spurs tinted specs on we've achieved one league cup( the same as Blackburn Rovers , Middlesborough, Birmingham city and Swansea city) and one champions league appearance (the same as Leeds and Newcastle) during Levy's time in charge.

    It's nothing to write home about, no let me tell it like it is, it's a shit achievement.
  9. Khilari
    Well written piece

    Just wanted to point out however that the above assumes we didn't pay him anything. I don't know what he was on at Spurs. But 20k per week means he cost us 1m per year whilst 10k per week obviously half that. Given we signed him in 2011 for under 1m and sold him 3 years later for over 4m, it's still good business by Levy.

    Undoubtedly we made some kind of profit on him, but I doubt it was quadruple the initial investment.
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  10. Bill_Oddie
    A very good point. I didn't go into that detail, or the other mitigating factor that is any loan fee we received for him. Levy has a track record of getting those to cover more than the costs we've incurred.

    The 2m he got Birmingham to pay to loan David Bentley remains, in my opinion, his greatest act in the transfer market - even in comparison to claiming a world record fee for Gareth Bale or getting our money back on Darren Bent. ;)
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