Tottenham Hotspur have been linked to so many players so far this summer, it's hard to keep them straight. But after talking to all of the writers and going through our archive of transfer rumor posts, we've been able to come up with a list of 22 players that Spurs have been strongly linked to so far this May that have played significant senior football in their careers.
We've left off some youth players or guys who play in third divisions or lower, simply because we can't evaluate them. We have no idea how worthy they are of signing.
All 22 players were assigned an estimated transfer fee and wage to help them decide where to rank them. Writers were asked to rank players based on the estimated financial commitment, ability, age, team needs and fit with the team. They were not asked to make an evaluation based on the plausibility of the selling club wanting to sell the player or Tottenham wanting to buy them.
We're probably going to do this a few more times this summer, because it's fun and it was pretty easy. Inevitably, we will hear that Spurs have no interest in signing some of these players, while new links will pop up and Tottenham will make signings, changing team needs.
Without any further ado, our rankings in tiers.
Sign them up, Daniel
1. Romelu Lukaku
2. Jordie Clasie
Lukaku was the only player who had no variation in our voting. Every single writer voted him as the best possible transfer target, even though we estimated that he would cost £30m and command at least £100k per week in wages if Chelsea were to sell him.
It's very unlikely that Spurs would buy Lukaku and Clasie, even if decent fees were fetched for all of Roberto Soldado, Emmanuel Adebayor and Paulinho, but we can dream. We figure that Clasie would cost around £15m, and if Manchester United are smart, they'll sign him before we have a chance.
We're very interested
3. Alvaro Vadillo
4. Juan Iturbe
These two wide men are both big prospects, with Iturbe the more polished of the two. The Argentine had a big breakout season in Serie A this year, and his owners FC Porto might be looking to cash in. However, the likely impending sale of Jackson Martinez -- who isn't on this list -- could mean they don't want to get rid of him this window. Vadillo is much more raw, but he'd also come at something like half the fee and wages of Iturbe. He represents only a small risk and a potentially huge reward, but one writer disagrees. Brett Rainbow is the only writer to rank Vadillo lower than 8.
Yep, we'll take them
5. Christian Tello
6. Adrien Rabiot
7. 'Chicharito' Javier Hernandez
8. Adam Lallana
No one in this group is properly inspiring, but it's safe to say that the CFC staff would be fairly pleased with any of them. Tello was the least divisive of the group, while we had pretty widely varying opinions on Lallana and Chicharito. The highest vote for Hernandez was 4th, while the lowest was 14th. For Lallana, 6th and two instances of 14th.
The price is right!
9. Loic Remy
10. Alex Song
14. Samuel Eto'o
Samuel Eto'o kind of mucks up what was a very perfect tier system, but 11-13 and 15 all fall into the exact same category, so he's been moved up here.
These are the players that CFC's writers aren't terribly enthused with, but they like the value that they represent. Remy is better than our current strikers, Song is better than our current midfielders and not a terrible central defender and Eto'o would come free or close to it, and wasn't horrible for Chelsea. None of these guys would be a bad pickup at their rumored prices.
Just out of pure desperation
11. Stefan Radu
12. Steven Caulker
13. Ashley Cole
15. Davide Astori
Basically, Tottenham Hotspur really need a defender and no one loves the defenders we've been linked to. The only reason these players rank this high is because of team need, and even that didn't help them break into the top half of our rankings. We need to be linked with some more inspiring defensive choices. May I suggest Eder Alvarez Balanta and Bruno Martins Indi?
We have disagreements about injuries
16. Jay Rodriguez
The widest variation of all players -- a standard deviation of 6.46 places -- came on the vote for Jay Rodriguez. Four writers decided they wouldn't touch him with a 10-foot pole because of his torn ACL, while three decided to rank him in their top 10 anyway. He was ranked highest by Lennon's Eyebrow, who had him 5th.
Everyone agrees that Rodriguez would be a good pickup for Spurs, it's just that he's not worth risking money on in this window. Let's see how he heals first.
We're good, thanks
17. Andrea Ranocchia
18. Claudio Marchisio
19. James Milner
20. Isaac Cuenca
What a completely unrelated mishmash of players this is. CFC's writers decided that, no matter how much we need a center back, we do not want Ranocchia. He's slow, can't turn and is probably a bad fit for an aggressive Premier League team. Marchisio would cost too much, Milner's wages would be hilarious for a utility player and Cuenca's numerous injuries mean most CFC writers don't even want to take a punt on a free.
DO NOT WANT
21. Ben Foster
22. Goran Pandev
The two players we have no interest in, with almost no variation in voting. Neither player was ranked higher than 20 by any CFC writer. Let's stop talking about them.
Votes were cast by Kevin McCauley, Brett Rainbow, Ed F., Skipjack, Lennon's Eyebrow, Uncle Menno, Bryan A. and Michael Caley.