I've written about this on several occasions, but it's something this is something that has been bothering me lately. It seems to me that we're starting to see a shift in Tottenham Hotspur's transfer dealings. At the beginning of the season, the average age of Tottenham's squad (including everyone that has played a first team game this year) was 25. If you look at the core of the team, those that feature at least semi-regularly in the league, the average age rises to 27.
This off-season Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy brought in the like of Scott Parker, age 31, and Brad Friedel, age 40, but also Souleymane Coulibaly (16), Cristian Ceballos (18), and Iago Falque (21). Tottenham's North London rival, Arsenal, have, at least under Arsene Wenger, been noted for bringing in young talent on the cheap and then developing them. Is that now what Daniel Levy wants to do?
Recently transfer rumors have been popping up about moves for all sorts of young talent. There's the double swoop for Barcelona youngsters Martin Montoya and Marc Bartra. Additionally there's been rumors of moves for a trio of talented Brazilians, beginning with Internacional duo Oscar and Leandro Damiao and concluding with Sao Paulo midfielder Casemiro.
I think given the age of our current squad this is a good policy. We have enough experienced veterans in the squad so that the young players don't have to play right away, but can ease into English football. Bringing in young players while players like Michael Dawson, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Parker, Luka Modric, Jermain Defoe, and Emmanuel Adebayor are around makes sense because when the time comes to sell those players (with the obvious exception of Adebayor because he is on loan) you have replacements capable of stepping up.
If nothing else this policy makes sense given Tottenham's wage restrictions and limited transfer budget. Sure maybe Leandro Damiao will cost £20 million, but his wages will be considerably lower than the likes of Adebayor, Giuseppe Rossi, and others meaning the overall spending on the player is less. Spurs spent £10 million on Sandro and £6 million on Scott Parker. Parker earns considerably more money than Sandro making him, overall, a more expensive player. Also, a constant stream of young players coming in allows the club to sell high on some other players. Would you have been inclined to let Benoit Assou-Ekotto leave for PSG if we had a similarly competent left back waiting in the wings?
Maybe I'm partial to this transfer policy because this is how I play Football Manager. I generally don't keep players past the age of 28. Generally because if they're good they're worth more to some other team than to my squad and if they're not good what's the point of having a bad old player who has no opportunity to develop. What are your thoughts on Tottenham's shift? Is it actually happening? Is it a good thing or should we be buying ready-made world class players?