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A Yiddo Silly Season: Looking At January Transfer Targets For Tottenham Hotspur

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I couldn't resist putting this dude's mug on the front page again
I couldn't resist putting this dude's mug on the front page again

Today sees the debut post of a new contributer, Brian. Brian will now be posting here at CFC on a weekly basis. Give him a warm welcome.

Ah, the silly season is upon us again. Lying in forth place and into the knockout rounds of the Champions League, Spurs have reached a crucial point of the season. Harry Redknapp and Daniel Levy have to decide what they want out of this window: To stay the course, to fortify, or go all in. With a wide-open Premier League, it's tempting to buy big and try to win the league for the first time in 50 years. But every team has to pay a premium in the January window, and Spurs want to avoid wasting money on another Gilberto. With all the players Spurs have been linked with, what should they do?    

First off, we need to understand what Spurs need, and these are their top five needs to address:

1.     Striker: Scoring has hardly been Tottenham's problem this year, but the strikers haven't been scoring goals. Defoe's been hurt, Crouch has been a solid distributor but lost his scoring touch, and Pav has been inconsistent. More than anything, Spurs could use a class finisher who could deliver on Bale, Modric, and Lennon's balls in addition to creating a few goals of his own.

2.     Defensive Midfielder: Tom Huddlestone was looking the part of a star box-to-box midfielder, but his injury has left a void in the middle of the pitch. Unfortunately his two cover players are on the wrong slides of the slope-Palacios has lost a step and Sandro isn't quite ready for the pace of the EPL yet. Spurs need to get themselves another Edgar Davids to bolster the defense and help win balls in the midfield.

3.     Center Back: The defense this year has been... bad. It is not without excuse, as Michael Dawson, Ledley King, William Gallas, and Younnes Kaboul have all battled injuries. Still, Spurs could definitely use a young, talented center back that has the pace and positioning to stabilize the backline, or at least more depth to help them compete on two fronts.

4.     Left Back: I doubt there's a Spurs fan in the world who wants to see Gareth Bale moved to defense, so that leaves the club with only one left back in Benoit Assou-Ekotto. The team needs to get more depth at the position, and preferably someone a little less prone to dumb fouls than the current Cameroonian left back.

5.     Winger: This is all depending on who leaves, but with Niko Kranjcar, David Bentley, and Giovanni Dos Santos all seemingly out of favor, a player will need to replace whoever is sold or loaned out.

Now, let's address the players Spurs are looking to get in January:

David Beckham (RM) Los Angeles Galaxy: The man most linked to join Spurs on paper is a misfit-a slow, old, player on a team built around pace and counter-attacking. But Beckham would be tremendous in every other way for the team, providing the winning experience, confidence, and a strong voice in the locker room. Presuming that this is a loan deal, the price should be affordable for the club, so the last question is just how he would fit into the squad. The poor man's version of him David Bentley was unable to break into the squad, so Beckham would likely only provide late minutes off the bench on the right wing. However, I think he would be more useful in an Andrea Pirlo role for the team, distributing from deep in the field to the streaking wingers down the side.

Fit on the Team: A-

Needs Addressed: C

Value for Money: A

Steven Pienaar (Winger) Everton: I might be in the minority, but I don't rate Pienaar highly. He has tremendous tools: great pace and ball control. But Pienaar has always lacked that elite intangible that would push him to achieve more on both the international and club level. With Tottenham's two best young talents playing on the wings, there doesn't seem to be an immediate spot open for Pienaar. And with his contract expiring at the end of this season, Spurs would pay a premium for a player they could have on a Bosman in only a few months. At age 28 already, Pienaar could be a great player for Spurs in the future, but he's not who they need right now.

Fit on the Team: B

Needs Addressed: C+

Value for Money: C

Ashley Young (Attacking Midfielder/Winger) Aston Villa: Ashley Young is a tremendous player and has done a large amount of work for an underachieving Villa side. But like Pienaar before him, there's no immediate opening for the 25-year old. With Aston Villa fighting the drop, it will take a tremendous premium to buy Young. I think Harry is right for coveting Ashley and he would seem to be a good fit for the Spurs squad, but his high cost would be better used fortifying more needy positions.

Fit on the Team: A-

Needs Addressed: B-

Value for Money: B

Gary Cahill (Centerback) Bolton Wanderers: Gary Cahill has been the rock of the Bolton Wanderers defense, helping them to push them way up the table. At just 25, Cahill has been capped by England and is getting the notice of big clubs as Chelsea also pursues him. He has the strength, size, and tackling ability to get right into this Spurs side. But with Bolton very reluctant to sell him, his rumored price tag of £20 million has to scare Spurs. Cahill could be the man to turn this defense into a championship contender, but it will be costly.

Fit on the Team: A-

Needs Addressed: A

Value for Money: C+

Christopher Samba (Centerback) Blackburn Rovers:  The towering Congolese center half has started a transfer rumor frenzy after declaring his want to leave Rovers. Samba is a specimen, standing in at 6'4" with the strength to match, Samba would add a physical presence the Spurs defense currently lacks. But there have been questions about his decision-making, and this public outburst does little to quell those fears. His rumored £8 million price tag isn't bad, but only if you view him as a player who can break into the starting line-up. After deferring to Ryan Nelsen for so many years, Samba just might not be the difference maker Tottenham needs.

Fit on the Team: B

Needs Addressed: B+

Value for Money: C+

Andy Carroll (Striker) Newcastle: Tottenham has lacked a complete forward since Dimitar Berbatov left. Andy Carroll might just be the man to fill that void, as the Toon striker has set the Premiership on fire as his 11 goals have pushed Newcastle into midtable. At only 22 years old, Carroll is a tall, talented forward. He's excellent in the air, a poacher, and has a howitzer shot from long. His price tag will be steep though, perhaps in the £20-30 Million range, as Newcastle will only sell at a premium price. Throw in his dicey past and Carroll is certainly a risky proposition, but one that could pay off in the end.

Fit on the Team: B+

Needs Addressed: A

Value for Money: C+

Luis Suarez (Striker) Ajax: Hero or villain of the World Cup (depending on your perspective), Suarez certainly caught the attention of the world with his scintillating performances. The Uruguayan is rumored to be available for £17 million, hardly a bad price for a player that scored 35 goals in the year previous for Ajax. Suarez is a class above the Tottenham strikers, a dynamic finisher and attacker who scores goals in bunches. In the push from a top-4 side to a title winning side, Suarez is the type of player you need.

Fit on the Team: A-

Needs Addressed: A

Value for Money: A-