Most fans expected Tottenham Hotspur to clean out their central midfield glut this offseason, and Tom Huddlestone may be the first on the move. The man with the golden crossfield ball and the tissue paper leg joints didn't seem to fit in a rebuilt Spurs midfield, but as a 26-year-old Englishman with reasonable football skills, Huddlestone should have some value on the transfer market.
The Sunderland Echo, a real newspaper with standards and everything, reports that Tottenham and Sunderland appear to have agreed on most aspects of a transfer deal for a fee in the range of £4-5m, with the only likely hold-up being an attempt by Hull City to step in and outbid the Black Cats:
Sunderland are in talks with Spurs midfielder Tom Huddlestone about a long-term move to the Stadium of Light.
Huddlestone, under contract until 2015, is believed to be available for around £4-5m and Sunderland would have no problem with that fee.
But former Black Cats boss Steve Bruce is also interested in the four-times capped Huddlestone and is hoping to gazump the deal. Bruce’s Hull City made contact with Huddlestone’s representatives this week. But Sunderland are further down the line, having already held talks, and will hope to seal a deal regardless of Hull’s late interest.
Sunderland were the definition of dire last season in the attack. Huddlestone's passing prowess would be a big upgrade for them in an area of need. On the other hand, Sunderland just lost Simon Mignolet, the only man who kept their defense from being the laughingstock of the league, and Huddlestone, barring a recovery, is not the most effective defensive player deep in midfield. Still, he's a quality Premier League performer and the fee seems about what one would expect. Sunderland fans should be happy to have him.
Even if this isn't the move that ships the Huddlestone away from White Hart Lane, it does seem highly likely it's going to happen. I think it's time to remember the wonderful contributions he gave to this club, and just how much fun he was to watch distributing the ball about the pitch.
To get us started, here's the ultimate Huddlerocket, the game winner against Bolton from the 2010 stretch run.