We all expected a fairly quiet and straightforward summer transfer window. Even with a new manager coming in, most figured Tottenham Hotspur would keep it simple and see if Mauricio Pochettino could do what Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood couldn't -- get the most out of a clearly talented squad.
Instead, the rumored volume of ins and outs has reached a surprising level, even by Spurs' standards.
Spurs tried to sell Michael Dawson to Hull, and will almost certainly accept further offers. Jan Vertonghen has been linked to Barcelona for a long time, Vlad Chiriches is apparently a target for Roma and Lazio are after Younes Kaboul. Mateo Musacchio looks to be on his way to White Hart Lane, while Michel Vorm, Ben Davies and Eric Dier have already signed.
Morgan Schneiderlin continues to be Spurs' top target, and Nacer Chadli is rumored to be available as a makeweight.. Napoli are interested in Sandro. Paulinho was linked to Juventus. We've been linked to Wilfried Bony all summer, which means one of Emmanuel Adebayor or Roberto Soldado is likely to leave. New links to Memphis Depay have popped up while fans would love to sell one or both of Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend, depending on who you ask. Gylfi Sigurdsson has already departed.
Core players like Christian Eriksen, Kyle Walker and Hugo Lloris should remain first choice going into this season, but at this rate, they'll be the only three players from last season who continue in their current roles. Every other starter is either being replaced by an emerging younger player or a new recruit, whether they're relegated to the bench or sold off.
At the moment, Spurs' squad looks like this.
GKs (3): Lloris, Vorm, Friedel
DFs (11): Walker, Rose, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Chiriches, Naughton, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Fryers, Davies, Dyer
MFs (8): Paulinho, Holtby, Capoue, Dembele, Carroll, Sandro, Mason, Bentaleb
AMs (6): Eriksen, Lennon, Lamela, Townsend, Chadli, Falque
FWs (3): Soldado, Adebayor, Kane
That's 31 names. Four of them -- Kane, Davies, Dier and Bentaleb -- don't need to be registered, but Spurs still need to axe two more players than they buy. It's not that hard to get to that number -- Benny and Falque are gone while one of Carroll or Mason will likely be sold or loaned -- but that still leaves a huge squad. Spurs could sell a few more players and still feel good about their depth, plus there are going to be replacements coming in for the established pros that the club wants to get rid of.
Going into this summer, we were expecting some continuity. We thought Spurs would add a left back and a center back, then maybe make a couple minor changes in attack and midfield. Four senior players in, four out would have been a typical summer.
Instead, Pochettino, Franco Baldini and Daniel Levy appear to be in the process of giving the first team squad a makeover so severe that it's almost gut job. Come September 2nd, the most established first team players besides Walker will be players that joined the club just one year ago.
I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it's a thing. Spurs management doesn't seem to feel that last year's squad was a good one, but mismanaged. They think they need a lot of new blood.