It’s deadline day! It’s also a relatively quiet one for Tottenham Hotspur, which feels weird but definitely puts me under a little bit less of the cosh today, so that’s nice. Tottenham had a match yesterday — a 1-1 draw at West Ham United that in a vacuum is a good result but feels like a bad one, both because of the way Spurs played and also because they have yet to put in a really convincing match performance yet this season.
But let’s talk about transfer deadline day. Tottenham has been a club that has historically left its business to the very last minute. That often makes deadline day super fun because you never know what can (or can’t) happen. So I thought for today’s theme, let’s look back at some of Tottenham’s summer deadline day signings in the Premier League era, because we might not have much else to talk about today!
Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings to the theme of Spurs summer deadline day signings.
5 stars: Rafael van der Vaart (2010)
Irrespective of his quality looking back at his Tottenham tenure, I’m not sure there’s a better transfer deadline day signing than Rafa, because it just came out of the blue. It was in a time before Fabrizio Romano and ubiquitous social media transfer news, and just the very idea that we could sign a player like Rafa from Real Madrid was unfathomable. I know a lot of fan opinions on van der Vaart are complicated these days and for good reason, but at the time this was an amazing deal and evoked deadline day joy the likes of which I’ve rarely ever experienced as a Spurs fan. Even if he didn’t have the staying power and could only last 65 minutes, Rafa was someone we could point to and say “this club is going places.” When he came to Spurs, it felt like a miracle.
No Tottenham players were this good.
4.5 stars: Hugo Lloris (2012)
Hugo was a deadline day signing under Harry Redknapp and it most definitely a “wow” moment for the club. Signing Lyon’s keeper and the young France No. 1? To Tottenham Hotspur? Incredible. Hugo took a while to bed in, but once he displaced Brad Friedel there was no dislodging him. Ten years later, he’s still around and (bar yesterday) consistently putting in good performances. In terms of quality, almost certainly among the best signings in Tottenham’s history.
No Tottenham players were this good either.
4 stars: Robbie Keane (2002)
Robbie Keane to Spurs was the result of opportunism. Leeds were deep into debt and were holding a fire sale in order to prevent them from being wound up, but nobody was buying because the other clubs knew that they were desperate. Daniel Levy swooped for Keano on deadline day 2002 and got him for £7m, which at the time was a decent amount. But Keane paid for himself over two stints at Spurs and is fondly remembered as among the best Tottenham strikers in the modern era.
Richarlison (Community — 3.5): That I’m putting a 75’ substitute as the best Tottenham player in this match probably tells you something, but he was great — his first touch was to dribble around a defender into space, and he was constantly stretching defenses with his movement. Time to start him against Fulham.
3.5 stars: Vedran Corluka (2008)
Ahhh, Charlie. Signed on deadline day in 2008 from Manchester City before they were rich and good, Corluka was a staple in Tottenham’s back line. Deployed mostly as a fullback, Charlie was slow as molasses but a real steady-Eddie, and a fan favorite. I miss him.
Harry Kane (Community — 3.0): Had the “assist” for the own goal but wasn’t getting on the ball as much and dropped deep to make things happen. Wish we were more able to play through him.
Ivan Perisic (Community — 3.5): Consistently one of Spurs’ better performers at the London Stadium, both on and off the ball.
Dejan Kulusevski (Community — 3.5): Looked extremely dangerous at times but wasn’t getting service from the right the way I think he expected.
3 stars: Fernando Llorente (2017)
Llorente was a limited player who Spurs signed to be Some Guy Who Can Occasionally Spell Harry Kane. He was a giant, impossibly handsome, lump of a player who was mostly underwhelming whenever he came on in the waning moments of matches, and yet still gave us two of the greatest moments in Spurs’ Champions League history — the Hip of God, and the Miracle in Amsterdam. He has earned his place on this list.
Eric Dier (Community — 3.0): Did his best, God love him. Helped make a meal of West Ham’s goal, but that’s not solely on him and he was pretty good in most other aspects of his defending.
Ben Davies (Community — 3.0): Definitely not the problem yesterday, though he was a little loose with his passing at times.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 2.5): It’s coming. Sonny’s making the right runs, getting in the right positions, but his touch is letting him down. But it’ll come. I believe. The signs are there.
2.5 stars: Moussa Sissoko (2016)
The STORY of Moussa Sissoko’s deadline day signing — ghosting Everton while en route to the plane to pick him up and fly him to Liverpool in order to sign with Tottenham — is great. The signing itself? Nope. It was a bad signing then and although Mauricio Pochettino was able to magic up a unique role that at times got the best out of him, he was still a very limited player whom we (the Carty Free) HATED at the time of his joining the club.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 3.0): This maybe feels a little harsh because he was carrying an injury for the entire second half and probably shouldn’t have been on the pitch. A few progressive passes in the first half but was extremely limited for much of the match and let a lot of players past him because he couldn’t keep up.
Emerson Royal (Community — 3.0): I keep waffling on Emerson, especially since he doesn’t work well with Sanchez, but surely there has to be better options on the bench, right? Let’s try Doherty there. Spence looked lively. If we are going to rely on that position for our ball progression, let’s get someone in there who can consistently progress the ball.
Antonio Conte (Community — 2.0): Make some damn subs, Antonio.
2 stars: Frazier Campbell (2008)
Frazier Campbell was a garbage deadline day signing. I remember how smart we all thought it was that we got Manchester United to include a Campbell on loan in the Dimitar Berbatov transfer deal. Hahaha, joke’s on us. He was big trash.
Hugo Lloris (Community — 2.5): I celebrated Hugo’s signing above, but he put in a stinker against West Ham. His bad pass set up WHU’s goal and he was extremely erratic with his distribution. It happens. I’m not calling for Fraser Forster.
Davinson Sanchez (Community — 2.5): Put in a moderately bad defensive performance to go along with his usual bad ball progression performance. Hurry back, Cuti — I’m tired of this.
Yves Bissouma (Community — 2.0): Really shaky first start, though you could see glimpses of what he can bring to Tottenham’s midfield. Not sure why he’s not up to speed yet but I’m not ready to go in two footed on him quite yet despite a pretty disheartening performance. Also picked up the dumbest yellow I’ve seen all season so far.
1.5 stars: Georges-Kevin Nkoudou
We waited all summer for that shit?
Nobody was this bad, thankfully.
1 star: Nobody (2018-19)
No Tottenham players were as bad as not making any signings during a summer transfer window.