Grading Spurs' summer transfer activity
A much quieter summer transfer window for the North London side compared to last season. What new manager Mauricio Pochettino has done though is spot their weakness and address it, the defence. The Argentine has brought in a whole new back four, a keeper and a defensive midfielder, two of which are expected to start straight away and overall it adds depth to what was a problem area for the Lilywhites last season.
Federico Fazio: B+
Pochettino’s compatriot last season was, the Europa League winners,Sevilla’s captain, at 27 he should bring some much needed organisation and authority at the back for Spurs who still look they really miss a leader on the pitch since King’s retirement. He comes in at £8m and is expected to become first choice alongside Vertonghen and is without doubt a huge upgrade on Kaboul who doesn’t look the same player since his injury.
As we can see Fazio appears to be more of a defender who reads the game and stops attacks from happening, or putting his body in the way rather than going toe to toe with attacks. This said,his total duel percentage puts him close to Vertonghen who are both well clear of the other two. If the Belgian can regain the form he had two seasons ago we could well see the beginning of a great partnership, one which could last for a 3-4 seasons.
Ben Davies: B
The Welshman personifies the clubs transfer window, a player who is unspectacular but exactly what they need. He made his Tottenham Premier League debut as a sub against Liverpool as Danny Rose trudged off down the tunnel and many expect Davies to keep the place now. Although Rose may be better going forward, his defensive limitations mean he will get exposed easily against the bigger teams like the defeat at the weekend. Davies will bring solidarity along with the potential to increase his potency going forward and there are few better managers to get the best out of the 21 year old that was part of a straight swap for Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Michel Vorm: B-
The Dutchman from Swansea set Tottenham back £5m and apart from at Chelsea you won’t find a better back up keeper. A slightly inconsistent season for the Swans last year but his quality is undoubted. Unlikely to unseat Hugo Lloris, who many consider to be in top five keepers in the world, we can expect to see him in the Europa League and domestic cups once he is available. The signing was needed as Friedel starts to look at working towards his coaching badges and for a small price they couldn’t have got a better number two.
Benjamin Stambouli: B-
A relative unknown to those in England has been brought in to replace fan favourite Sandro for around half the fee of ‘The Beast’. The Frenchman is 24 years old and brings a versatility in which he can play throughout the back four as well as in front of it. The former Montpellier man is a superior passer toSandroaswellas more consistent in the tackle, this said,Sandro probably has a better reading of the game. He will be missed by the Spurs fans for his personality more than anything but Stambouli should be a cultured, clever signing who looks in the mould of Morgan Schneiderlin.
Eric Dier: B+
The Englishman from Sporting Lisbon has already become a fan favourite with two goals in three games from right back. However, it is likely he was brought in mainly as a centre half but his versatility will be vital with Walker’s injury problems. He has already shown he is an aerial threat and has great composure for someone of his age and position. There were signs of his age though against Liverpool as his ‘challenge’ on Joe Allen resulted in a penalty, a little naive and he shouldn’t of let himself get in that position but at just £4m he really could go on and become a regular for Spurs and should push for an England place.
DeAndre Yedlin: B-
The young American caught the eye of World Cup audiences as he came off the bench to cause Belgium all sorts of problems in the second round. However, the Premiership is likely to be a huge step up from playing for Seattle Sounders in the MLS. He is back on loan there until 2015 but it is unclear if that is January or next summer, it could be this January with Naughton likely to leave.Pochettino has been highly praised for his development of younger players and Yedlin could well be a major benefactor of this. It’s too early to tell if he can make the step up but under Pochettino there is reason to be optimistic that there could have a future World star at North London.
Final Grade: B
With all 6 signings getting some form of a B grade it really epitomises the window for the club. There is a lot of promise, a lot of strengthening the squad and generally addressing issues without splashing out and grabbing big names, which is the opposite of last summer. However, just like last summer the club actually made a profit as the effects of building a new stadium begin to take their toll but with this in mind the manager and chairman must be praised as the squad looks deeper, stronger and more ready to give a convincing performance every game.
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