With the January transfer window fast approaching, Ryan and I had a conversation today about what Spurs' plans might be. This piece will be broken up into two parts, with part two getting posted tomorrow. This first part deals with the players on the Spurs squad that could possibly be in line for departure, while the second part deals with Spurs' needs and who some good January targets might be. Enjoy.
Kevin McCauley: Ryan, let's start this conversation by talking about who we should consider offloading in the upcoming January transfer window. Who needs to GTFO?
Ryan Rosenblatt: Hutton, Hutton, Hutton, Hutton, insert random player here, and Hutton.
Kevin McCauley: Really? I was sure that you were going to say Alan Hutton. I think you might have forgotten about him.
Ryan Rosenblatt: I almost did, but I was blinded by an open green space and realized that was the space at the back he vacated
Kevin McCauley: Alan Hutton can be a serious donkey at times, but he's been pretty respectable in our last couple games. He's not Daniel Alves or anything but give the dude a break.
Ryan Rosenblatt: He will get the breaks he deserves, and that is none of them. He hasn't been near respectable and is a horrible liability for the team. Pushing forward so you can serve in bad balls or not be able to run on to anything played out wide is not respectable and his defending is akin to the Canadian military.
Kevin McCauley: Hey, I will not tolerate disrespect of the Mounties on this site. Take that back.
Ryan Rosenblatt: You're right. I was being harsh on the Mounties. They're no Alan Hutton. At least the Mounties try. Hutton just sits and watches. If this were youth soccer Hutton would get the "Great Hustle" award, aka the "we have nothing positive to say about you so we'll praise non-existent hustle" award.
Kevin McCauley: I don't have as much hate for Hutton as you do, but it wouldn't exactly pain me to see him sold. I think that Vedran Corluka, while his strengths and weaknesses are completely different, is a better option at right back. I also think that Younes Kaboul will get some playing time there in the event that all (or even two) of Ledley King, Michael Dawson, and Jonathan Woodgate are healthy. I know you'd let him walk for free, but what do you think we could get a team to pay for Hutton?
Ryan Rosenblatt: There are a lot of stupid teams out there so they may shell out a dollar or two for him. In all seriousness, Hutton won't be sold despite the fact that Corluka and Kaboul are both better options, as you said. More likely candidates to be sold are Gio dos Santos, David Bentley and Robbie Keane, although I really doubt that Keane is actually sold.
Kevin McCauley: Before we tackle those three, let's tackle my least favorite Spurs player, who is also unlikely to be sold. Jermaine Jenas...what does he do, exactly?
Ryan Rosenblatt: He wears the England shirt for the debut galas and looks mighty fine doing so. In fact, the way he walks around the pitch during a match can be easily misconstrued as walking the catwalk.
Kevin McCauley: Unfortunately, he's not very good at tackling, passing, holding his position, or scoring goals. Generally, central midfielders are expected to be good at two of these things to be considered top flight players.
Ryan Rosenblatt: If Jermaine Jenas is a top flight player then I'm a top flight thinker.
Kevin McCauley: Well, he plays first team football for a team in the English Premier League, so by definition, he is a top flight player.
Ryan Rosenblatt: Don't say that or I will have to call Hutton a top flight footballer as well and that makes me cry.
Kevin McCauley: We both know we won't sell Jenas in January, but rumor has it Stoke have inquired and might be willing to pay as much as £7m for the dude. I'd call a bid of half that price reasonable, so if Stoke actually make a real offer for that kind of money and we say no, I might throw my laptop out the window.
Ryan Rosenblatt: If we can get £7m for Jenas I will personally drive him to Stoke, but the reality is he's unlikely to fetch that more or be sold at all, the same way Hutton won't be sold.
Kevin McCauley: I think that if Harry wanted to ditch these guys, which he most likely doesn't, he could fetch £10m for the pair. We could use that money to get a guy who is...I don't know...good. Seems like a bit of a no-brainer, but oh well. There's a reason Harry manages a top team and we're keyboard jockey college students.
Ryan Rosenblatt: I am also a modern day pirate and board game enthusiast. Do not sell me short.
Kevin McCauley: Does USF have an exchange program with Somalia?
Ryan Rosenblatt: No, but I have secured a cozy post with the Somali Maritime Organization. Let's keep that hush hush though. How much can Spurs get for the two most likely players to get sold, dos Santos and Bentley?
Kevin McCauley: I'm thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of jack for GDS and roughly diddly sh*t for Bentley, bringing us to a grand total of jack diddly sh*t.
Kevin McCauley: In all seriousness, about £8m
Ryan Rosenblatt: That sounds about right to me. If the purse strings in Europe open up a bit more than they were in the summer, we could get lucky and get £10m. What do you make of Keano though? While I think selling him would be nice, who is going to pay his wages to take him on loan, let alone buy him?
Kevin McCauley: No one is going to take on his wages without a clause that lets them purchase for a reasonable price at the end of the loan. Celtic and Vancouver Whitecaps are both interested, but Robbie would probably have to cut his salary in half to satisfy either team. His best option if he wants to continue to make sick bank is the Middle East. Robbie Keane isn't a $100k per week player anymore. He'll either have to accept that or accept not playing. I think we might be stuck with him until his contract expires unless he sucks it up and takes a killer pay cut.
Ryan Rosenblatt: And that is what I think is going to happen. All the talk of selling him is silly in my opinion because he's not going to take half of what he earns now, although for his boyhood club in Saudi Arabia, he could be convinced.
Kevin McCauley: I actually heard that he supported Qatar's Al-Sadd as a boy.
Ryan Rosenblatt: I doubt that any teams from Qatar will get their hands on Kranjcar or Corluka, but it wouldn't surprise me if either was sold and both would bring in more than either Bentley or dos Santos.
Kevin McCauley: If Corluka was sold, I'd be a little surprised and disappointed. That is, unless we got an ungodly amount of money for him. Kranjcar is a player I like, but he's been disappointing whenever he's played this season and he doesn't seem to have a place in the side.
Ryan Rosenblatt: I would be very upset if we sold Corluka. As we covered, I think he's one of our two best right backs and I think he's actually a better center back than he is a right back. With his dependability in defense, Lennon is freer and more space opens up on the right. If Kranjcar goes I'll be okay with it, but I would worry about our options out wide. We would be left with Bale, Lennon, Modric and that's it, assuming Bentley is sold too.
Kevin McCauley: So, between the possible sales of Bentley, Dos Santos, Keane, Corluka, Kranjcar, and the fact that Spurs are through to the knockout stages of the Champions League, Harry could have somewhere in the neighborhood of £20m to spend in January. It will be interesting to see what he does with it.
That's it for part one, check back tomorrow for our discussion on potential January targets.