Tottenham’s Transfer Success
Tottenham’s transfer policy could be disputed as a failure due to the performances of their departed players. Gylfi Sigurðsson, Etienne Capoue and Aaron Lennon have all had some success at their clubs since leaving. Many Spurs fans are unhappy at losing these talents and bemoan the decision making.
However, there have been many successes, with new transfers such as Victor Wanyama and the development of other players such as Eric Dier. These replacements have a lot more quality and make significant upgrades to the squad. Arguably, the size and level of competition within the squad means that the weak players are rightfully benched, then sold, to ensure a progressive and developing squad.
Sigurðsson left the club in 2014 and has become a key player at Swansea. Many fans bemoaned his transfer then, and still do today. Even Pochettino said that he would be a “perfect” player for him. This is because of his excellent playmaking ability, with an eye for goal. Christian Eriksen has come under fire for his lacklustre performances, the lack of his old creativity and his ability to chip in with goals. However, Eriksen has recently scored three goals and notched two assists against Chelsea and Swansea combined. The key problem is that there isn’t another player of his creative calibre at the club. This would suggest that Tottenham’s transfer policy is a failure, due to the lack of depth in this key area. By holding onto players such as Sigurðsson, there would be more competition and less reliance on one key player.
Capoue was another departure but was one that fewer Spurs fans lament over. He had a spirited start to his Watford career, bagging four goals early on. This was despite scoring only one Premier League goal for Spurs.
The main reason for his sudden success at a new club was due to his slight position change, from deep defensive midfielder to a more central position. Naturally, this increased freedom would increase his chance of scoring. So why didn’t Spurs keep hold of him and change his position? Arguably, it was not worth changing a whole formation for the sake of one player. This is especially when the club had much better attacking options than Capoue in midfield. In addition, the club is well covered by the emergence of Dier as holding midfielder and the rise of Wanyama. Overall, Capoue is not really missed at the club and so the right choice has been made in terms of transfer policy.
A fan favourite and a loyal servant to the club, fans were always likely to criticise Lennon’s transfer. After arriving at Everton, he has put in some solid Premier League performances for his new club. His pace, intensity and dribbling skills are still his greatest asset. He did have some goalscoring form for the Toffees, but only sporadically. His lack of a final product still seems to be a problem. Arguably, he would still make a solid squad player at his old club. His pace could change a scoreline in the dying embers of a match. However, he suits a traditional winger role, which Spurs do not employ. Therefore, this transfer decision is a good one.
Whether it is Sigurðsson, Capoue or Lennon, the reason why all three players eventually left is due to their match time. All three were often substitutes towards the end of their Tottenham careers. Whilst some have gone on to improve and show some real quality, this is an inevitable result of having consistent match time. In a large, competitive squad, there is no time to develop the inconsistent and this is why all three players were rightfully sold. Arguably, there is room for additions in some key areas, but it is hard to predict future shortages in such areas. Therefore, overall, Tottenham’s transfer policy is sound.