As Tottenham Hotspurs Gareth Bale moves to Real Madrid for the sort of stratospheric fee that soothes Fiorentino Perezs Galactico-induced ego,they have been spurred to reinvest in the transfer market and not cushion their backsides on a pile of cash is valued at £86m plus add-ons.
Their young manager Andre Villas-Boas impressed upon his ambitious,hard-nosed chairman the need for new players and a new way of working the market in their quest for regular Champions League football.
Spurs most important business in the off season has also been the one that has flown under the radar the appointment of Franco Baldini as Tottenham Hotspurs technical director at Villas-Boas insistence. The Italian had deftly reinvested the potential funds from Bales transfer to transform a potentially crippling transfer into one that has redrawn the squad.
A lack of consistency among their strikers and a lack of squad depth was one of the main reasons Spurs fell just short of CL qualification for the past two seasons. The new buys are aimed at addressing this issue. Vlad Chiriches (£8.5m) gives cover to their backline while Paulinho,picked from Corinthians for £17m,has provided stability and movement at the base of midfield,something Scott Parker and Tom Huddlestone – both sold – could not achieve consistently. Etienne Capoue (£9m) will challenge Paulinho and provide options in midfield.
Bales attacking presence will be missed but Spurs have added in that area too. The £30m spent on Spain international Roberto Soldado is already proving to be smart money the striker has scored in both league games while winger Nacer Chadli (£7m) and Erik Lamela (£26m) should slot straight into the first team. Add to this Ajaxs Christian Eriksen,and the squad looks set to challenge.
In a way,Spurs have also insured themselves against disaster. Depending on a strengthened squad instead of a star individual means the side wont suffer in the event of an injury to the go-to man. What they are losing is a match-winner. What they are getting though,is a collective that arguably,is stronger than what they have had till date.
(Hormazd is a senior sub-editor based in New Delhi.)firstname.lastname@example.org