The transfer window has closed, and Tottenham Hotspur have made their January moves. Or lack of moves, depending on how you look at it. With the dust finally settling from what turned out to be a somewhat frenetic (if not ultimately eventful) transfer window, let's take a look at what the Cartilage Free Captain writing staff thought about Tottenham's dealings.
Dustin Gerber Martin:
The January window is a weird one for Tottenham; it's a window during which Spurs almost never make a huge financial outlay or make major signings. Spurs signed two exciting young players in DeAndre Yedlin and Dele Alli, but my expectations of the window revolved more around outgoing players than incoming ones. The Aaron Lennon loan was the right call, and the sale of Kyle Naughton was to be expected, but Spurs whiffed on most of their attempts to offload some of their dead wood, most notably Etienne Capoue, Younes Kaboul, and Emmanuel Adebayor. I don't know if shipping some or all of those three out would've resulted in a better (or happier) squad, but it was a missed opportunity to free up some wages for a major summer purchase or two.
I'm happy with Alli and Yedlin, but I would've been happier with the addition of a single player who could have made a solid first team contribution in a season where, despite lowered expectations, Spurs still have an outside shot of making the Champions League. Was Kevin Mirallas that player? We'll never know. Grade: C.
Spurs bought some interesting youth prospects and managed to get a loan deal for Lennon. That's good. I wish they would have found a transfer for at least one of Younes Kaboul, Etienne Capoue, or Emmanuel Adebayor. That's bad.
One reason I'm not upset is that it seems to take players some time to get accustomed to Pochettino's rugged training schedule and demanding playing style. I'm not sure we were linked, realistically linked, to many players that would come in and make a significant difference from the jump. Grade: C
All things considered, I'd say this was a good transfer window for Spurs. The only thing that would have made it better was a few more sales. In terms of purchases, however, this is about what I expected. Tottenham Hotspur have never been a club that's active in January. The club prefers to spend in the summer and then allow the players to gel into a cohesive unit. There was no reason to depart from that model this season, especially with the way recent results have gone. Pochettino finally has some players he's comfortable using and they seem to be clicking.
The players that were brought in, DeAndre Yedlin (though he was signed in the summer) and Dele Alli are promising young players. One had a star turn at last summer's World Cup and one was drawing the attention of Paris St. Germain. These guys may not have been what people wanted or expected, but they're the type of signings this club needed.
Only Kyle Naughton left permanently, however, and, Aaron Lennon aside, Levy failed to off-load the rest of the Kaboul Cabal (Kaboul, Adebayor, and Capoue). Instead we're stuck with trying to sell them in the summer based on them not having played first team football. The failure to even loan any of those guys out knocks my grade for this window down a bit. Grade: B
So I don't want to rip into the club, because there's no reason to panic. Spurs have a pretty good team and making huge January signings usually doesn't work out that well. But at the same time, is there any reason for me to give this window a good letter grade? The team tried to get Etienne Capoue, Younes Kaboul, and Emmanuel Adebayor out the door, but failed. Champions League is within reach, Spurs' midfield isn't top four quality, and a better midfielder wasn't brought in. All of this is totally understandable, I'm not upset with Poche, Baldini or Levy. But if I'm being honest, I have no reason to give this window a better grade than D.
We got two youngsters for the (hopefully near) future, and this type of young player with upside are exactly the type of guy the club should be investing in. Alli and Yedlin have tons of potential and could play a huge role for us in a year or two. But we also need players for right now, and on that front we dropped the ball. We're one injury to Harry Kane or Christian Eriksen away from having our entire attack fall to pieces. Meanwhile, despite having a dozen bodies for the position, we still have a terribly porous midfield. Solid reinforcements here could have been the difference between making the push to fourth or languishing another year in the Europa League. Or Kane stays healthy and Bentaleb comes back from ACON like a boss and we're totally fine. I guess we'll see.
On the other side of the transfer equation, we failed to offload the "Kaboul Cabal", despite seemingly making every effort to shift Adebayor, Capoue, Lennon, and Kaboul. The only one we managed to move was Aaron Lennon, arguably the least useless of the quartet, and while it makes sense that he'd be the one most in demand, it seems like offers were on the table for the other three and for some reason or another we couldn't get the deal done. However, even if we had sold these guys, I'm skeptical the money would have been reinvested anyway, so waiting til the summer to sell seems just fine. All in all, this transfer window was a solid "whatever."
January is not the month for making big moves, you do not change your team's fortunes with one splash of cash. For whatever reason the January window has evolved to more of a redeployment on resources type of a window, and most of those who do spend big in January get burned and almost always overpay. Not a good long-term strategy. And if you my have noticed, our chairman usually is playing the long game. I think we had a great window. We got some players who I always liked but were not in a position to contribute much loaned out or released making them at the same time, someone else's financial problem, and also giving them a chance to keep playing. We made a few strategic long term moves bringing in young guys, and we got some really nice loan deals set up for our up and coming academy products who have proven they need playing time. Add that to Levy not taking the short end of the stick on a potential Adebayor deal that would seen us still paying him to play somewhere else and I have to call that a solid bit of business. Grade: B+ (but only because it is January, do this in summer and I will lose my mind)
Basically in this window, Daniel Levy swapped Kyle Naughton for Dele Alli. I don't know how good Alli is, but Kyle Naughton is a 26-year-old who is currently the club's third- or fourth-choice right back. Getting a prospect with legitimate upside in return for a guy who barely qualifies as a squad player anymore is pretty impressive.
Tottenham didn't have any major assignments to complete, as the club has a star striker and a full, maybe overfull squad. Another CM or CB might have helped, but it's not unreasonable to expect Mauricio Pochettino to make something useful of the bodies he's got.
I can't rave about a window where the club's massive problems in central midfield weren't solved. But at the same time the winter window is a pretty terrible time to solve problems, so I didn't expect it to get done either. Grade: B+
Another January transfer window come and gone, where Levy just keeps weakening the squad and lining his pockets, FFS. For real though, this can be chalked up as fairly good window. We brought in DeAndre Yedlin and Dele Alli, two signings with huge upsides. Building for the future is a great approach and a smart way to approach the January window. Coming into this, I had been hoping we might sign a midfielder for immediate use. [A single tear falls thinking of Rabiot]
With Bentaleb returning from AFCON, and Dembele showing signs of life, we might actually be alright in midfield. As far as outgoings are concerned, it wasn’t bad either. Numerous youngsters got loans and Naughton was sold on for a decent fee, a move that was necessary. Lennon loaned, and probably gone, a move that needed to happen since he didn’t seem to factor into Poch’s plans. [Weeps]
That to me seems to have been the goal of this window, to move on those players who don’t factor into what Pochettino wants. Sure, deals for the Kaboul Cabal fell through, but there was movement on that front and it looks like we are going to let Paul Mitchell establish himself and start work on truly building the squad Poch wants in the summer. Who knows, Adebayor may yet score a Capital One Cup winning goal. Overall, I’d give this window a B+ for the Yedlin and Alli signings, and the sense I get that we are looking to really consolidate and create a new, well scouted and researched transfer approach. Still would have liked another midfielder though, Daniel.
Tottenham didn't have a flashy January transfer window, but we never do. We offloaded one member of the Kaboul Cabal and seemingly did our level best to dump the other two. The lack of serious movement speaks to both a lack of realistic options in the market and a bit of an overloaded squad. Even in our ineffective midfield, we have too many players. We did well to bring in a highly rated youth player. Just based on ins and outs I would give us a C, but given that we point blank refused to do business with West Ham and thus caused like 4 other deals to collapse, I will give us a B. For Banter.