Harry’s Bargain Bucket

Posted: April 26, 2011 in Football Blogs, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur possesses one of the Premier League’s most in depth squads. Dawson, Gallas, Bassong, King and Kaboul all compete for places at the heart of the defence, whilst Modric, Sandro, Palacios, Huddlestone and Jenas all vye for the centre midfield positions; and then you have Crouch, Defoe, Van Der Vaart and Pavlyuchenko all hoping to lead the Lilywhites front line. No manager, not even the respected Harry Redknapp, could keep all these players happy, which is why managers from all across the globe will be sniffing around White Hart Lane this summer hoping for a bargain (if such a thing exists in football anymore).

How did Tottenham come to have too many players though? It isn’t surprising that Tottenham find themselves with a squad overload, as the majority of transfer rumours involve the North London outfit and Redknapp rarely does anything to quash this ‘paper talk’; which means the media goes off in a frenzy. Redknapp took over with Tottenham in the relegation zone and quickly moved to bring back Robbie Keane, Pascal Chimbonda and Youness Kaboul after only half a year away from ‘The Lane.’ After easily securing Tottenham’s Premier League status, Redknapp set about putting his own stamp upon the Tottenham squad; in true ‘Arry style’, numerous players came in for all kinds of prices such as the Croatian duo of Niko Kranjcar, for £2.5 million, and Luka Modric, for a reported £16.5 million. Throughout this time Redknapp shipped players out on loan, but rarely did Tottenham let a player leave permanently. If you look at Tottenham’s transfer activity for the current season it demonstrates this perfectly; no less than six players in, with fourteen loan deals and only Adel Taarabt and Dorian Dervite leaving the club altogether.

The type of players Tottenham have available will be appealing to all teams up and down all of Europe’s main leagues. Niko Kranjcar; a creative wide player who has a delightful deft touch upon the ball (who reportedly rejected a move to Werder Bremen in January); David Bentley, currently on loan at Birmingham and flourishing due to McLeish giving him a good run of games; Robbie Keane on loan to West Ham, who looked back to his old self before his injury. I could go on; such is the extent of the excess of players on the books at Tottenham.

It seems to be an inherent trait of Harry Redknapp’s to insist on a wealth of funds with which to delve into the transfer market, as he has done repeatedly in the past several years with both Tottenham and previous club Portsmouth. But with the reluctance of the majority of clubs to spend big as they have done before due to the recession (with the exception of course of the Chelsea’s and Real Madrid’s of the world), it seems that either Harry has stretched himself too far by assuming that his unwanted players will be easy to shift, or, perhaps, by simply wanting to have his cake and eat it. Granted, for a club competing for a top four spot as well as in two domestic cups and the Champions League over the course of the season, it is clear that just a strong first eleven is not enough and there must be quality and quantity at the club, but Tottenham have spent over £200M in the past three years, a truly immense sum (for a club that isn’t being bankrolled by a foreign billionaire.)

So come the end of the season, when the transfer window reopens, expect major activity in the white part of North London, but this time keep a keen eye on the exit door of White Hart Lane, as opposed to the entrance.


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