I thought it might be useful to just summarize the January transfer window, give my thoughts on everything, and gather everyone's reactions to Tottenham Hotspur's dealings. Here's what we did:
- Ezekial Fryers - £3 million
- Lewis Holtby - £1.5 million
Well, we certainly didn't get the striker that all of the fans were crying out for (though Harry Kane did return from Norwich on loan), but you'd be hard pressed to say that the team didn't improve. I don't know if Fryers will ever amount to anything other than cover at left back, but he's young and he's English and if he becomes the next Danny Rose than Tottenham certainly stand a good chance of making a profit on him. The real coup though is Holtby. He's been capped by the German national team, played in the Champions League and at only 22 he has a bright future ahead of him. We all saw what he is capable of during his brief cameo against Norwich City and the prospect of him playing regularly is very exciting.
- Jermain Jenas - Undisclosed Fee
- Carlo Cudicini - Free
- Gomes - Loan
- Andros Townsend - Loan
- Yago Falque - Loan
- Soulemayne Coulibaly - Loan
- Alex Pritchard - Loan
- Ryan Mason - Loan
- Tomislav Gomelt - Loan
- Simon Dawkins - Loan
Tottenham finally managed to clear Jermaine Jenas and Gomes off of their wage bill. Yes, Gomes was only a loan, but given Hoffenheim's goalkeeping situation I'd imagine there's is an option to buy built in to the deal. Some of the other loans are really interesting. Particularly those of Coulibaly and Falque. For Coulibaly he's been sent to Grossetto, not far from his original club Sienna, in the Italian Serie B. You have to think that if the staff wanted Souley to get first team minutes and adapt to the English game they'd have sent him to League Two or League One. I believe that this move sort of signals the end of Coulibaly's time at Spurs. The same is true of Falque's move to Spain's second division. The club could have sent him to the Championship like last season, but instead he's been sent home to Spain. Probably to be put in the shop window for a future move.
Not all of these loans are bad though. I am extremely excited about Ryan Mason's move to French club Lorient. There Mason will get some excellent experience playing in Ligue 1. If he gets significant playing time it should be excellent for his development. Tomislav Gomelt has been loaned to Espanyol, where he'll presumably play for their B side in the Spanish third tier. The 18 year-old midfielder looks to be a good one and match experience will be good for him.
The two most mystifying moves, to me, are the loan of Andros Townsend to QPR and the loan of Simon Dawkins to Aston Villa. Townsend was the only cover the club had at either wing position after Falque's move and QPR are a club that already have a ton of wide players. I can't imagine Townsend getting any more minutes at Lofthus Road than he did at Spurs and for that reason I think this deal was horrible. Dawkins is mystifying because I literally have no idea what Villa are doing. Dawkins has a decent goal scoring record in the MLS, but Villa need players that are going to help keep them in the Premiership. Dawkins isn't that guy. Maybe if he plays a few games he'll be on the radar of some other clubs and we can sell him this summer.
The Damiao Thing
Ok, this whole transfer saga is turning into my least favorite thing in the world. Lots of people are blaming Levy for not getting this deal done (something I'll address a bit later), but to me this falls squarely on Internacional. They don't want to sell Damiao. That's fine. Maybe Damiao doesn't want to move either. Lots of Brazilian players have expressed interest in staying or returning to Brazil's domestic league ahead of the 2014 World Cup, so if Damiao wants to stay that's fine too. But, let's just all stop this pointless flirtation.
I don't even want Damiao anymore. He may be "THE" striker that Spurs need and he may be amazing, but, as I mentioned yesterday, he would have to score ELEVENTY MILLION goals at Spurs to ever live up to the hype that we have heaped upon him. Chances are he would come score 12 or so goals a season for a couple years and we would all be disappointed. He'd be the new Darren Bent or Roman Pavlyuchenko, just with more hype, more pressure, and a bigger cash outlay.
I'm sure that in the coming months rumors will circulate about our renewed interest in Leandro and we should all take them with a grain of salt. No matter what Levy offers Internacional aren't selling. Maybe a deal will be agreed over the summer, but probably not. Let's just all move on to a different striker.
The Cry For A Director of Football
So, Tottenham left a lot of things, namely Damiao, until the last minute on deadline day. For some reason, people act like this is a thing that's unique to Spurs. If people weren't all doing a lot of business on deadline day, then deadline day wouldn't be a thing. We wouldn't need wall to wall Sky Sports News coverage from Jim White. We wouldn't need stupid kids in Stoke-on-Trent making rude gestures behind Sky Reporters. We wouldn't need any of that crap if no one, but Spurs left everything to the last minute.
Mainly, I think people are upset about Daniel Levy's negotiating style. His alleged low-balling of clubs, etc. I understand if that upset people. If all we needed to do was offer a few million more pounds to secure Damiao and Levy didn't offer it then, sure that's frustrating. However, we have to remember that Tottenham don't have oil money. We're trying to build a new stadium. A few million pounds may not be available. I don't believe that any of us should sit here and try to tell Daniel Levy how to run this club. We don't understand the financial situation or the negotiations that occur behind the scenes. All we can see is what goes on out on the pitch.
So, Spurs didn't make a big signing and left everything to the "last minute". Would things have been any different with a director of football? I don't think so. There's only so much that a DoF can do and I don't think one of them is "make Internacional sell a player they don't want to sell".
Daniel Levy has done a lot to improve this club and I don't think that you can say that we didn't get better during this window. Certainly, there was an opportunity to get much better with the addition of a world class striker, but with inflated January prices maybe this wasn't the best time to do that. I still think Tottenham Hotspur are in a good position to get back into the Champions League and with that hopefully will come more players in the summer.