The January transfer window is here. Rumours are already flying about which club is going to buy or sell who, with Tottenham Hotspur no exception. The January window can be notoriously tricky. Teams hoping to avoid relegation can panic buy and pay over the odds for players. Teams wanting to consolidate a promising start and make that second half of season push for promotion/trophies/qualification may do the same. Any new arrival without the benefit of a pre-season period to get to know new teammates can struggle – Andy Carroll, Fernando Torres, Alfonso Alves & Savio Nsereko just some of many examples. However, get it right and a team may end up with a gem of a player – Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra & Brede Hangeland were all January purchases.
Perhaps inevitably some players will leave; Roman Pavlyuchenko, Giovani, Sebastien Bassong and Vedran Corluka being the most likely, whilst some of the youngsters will be sent on loan to gain experience. The benefit of not playing in Europe as other rivals do, is being able to focus on the challenge for a Champions League position. However, with departures, injuries & suspensions the squad will need strengthening despite the potential return of some from long term injuries.
Who is brought in may depend on several factors. Not only who leaves, the Financial Fair Play regulation but the perceived futures next summer of some such as Emmanuel Adebayor, Luka Modric and Redknapp himself with the England job beckoning. Another factor is getting the right player to fit Spurs’ style. Under Redknapp Spurs have been not only defensively solid, but arguably, playing through a fluidity, speed and skill, the most exciting football in the Premier League.
There has also been a tactical flexibility and maturity – perhaps stemming from last season’s Champions League run – that has seen Spurs adopt a variety of formations without impacting their style. The key should be bringing in players who will fit to the manager’s vision without upsetting the spirit of the squad. Harry Redknapp recently mentioned his wish to make “a statement signing”, sparking rumours about Carlos Tevez. This may send a message to rivals about Spurs’ intent, but a statement signing such as Tevez may lead to the questions – on current form, who would be dropped to accommodate him or would such a [costly] player be happy on the bench. Arguably just such an effective message can be made through less expensive but quality signings that will improve the strength of the squad.
The question is who? Any English, Brazilian or player from Spain mentioned appears to have their price automatically doubled. As can be seen by Scott Parker, Daniel Levy will sanction the signing of an experienced player but in general the preference may be more for younger players with sell on value. Ultimately though, the age, experience, type of player and type of contract, should be determined by Harry’s plans for Spurs. In part 2 we discuss several options.
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