Much like Christmas, the fuss and build-up to the Transfer Window ‘slamming shut’ on Deadline Day starts earlier every year, and football supporters up and down the country eagerly write their wish-lists. But for fans of Tottenham Hotspur, the January window has not always brought them the presents they’ve been after.
Will this year be different? I wouldn’t be so sure.
There is little doubt among Spurs fans that new faces are required. Not because we’re in desperate need of strengthening the first XI, but down to a burning desire to add the depth to the squad that will be required if we are to continue to fight for a top 4 league position, FA Cup run, and Europa League progress.
But we’ve been here before, and it should not be forgotten that Levy does not tend to part with his cash at this time of the year. Previous January transfer windows have seen us sign Ryan Nelsen and Luis Saha last year, Bongani Khumalo (remember him?) and Steven Pienaar in 2011, and Eidur Gudjohnsen and Younes Kaboul in 2010 – all on the cheap. Only Kaboul (and maybe Khumalo, who knows) is still with the club. Short term solutions to fix short term problems that don’t cost the club much.
We've been here before, and it should not be forgotten that Levy does not tend to part with his cash at this time of the year
Lewis Holtby has been signed on a pre-contract agreement from Schalke 04, and will provide a huge amount of quality in the number 10 role that we clearly need at the moment, despite Clint Dempsey’s improved form. Talk from Germany suggests he has played his last match for the club and will join Spurs in January for a reduced fee, but if reports are to be believed, we’ve even managed to have a bid rejected for being too low. Classic Levy. I would expect this to be one deal that will be completed, probably some time around 11.50pm on January 31st, but if not, don’t hold your breath waiting for someone else come in to fill the void. Levy will see that we have Dempsey and Sigurdsson already with the club, Holtby coming in the summer, and that will be that.
And so to the striker situation. Despite his impressive early return, Defoe is struggling for form and with Adebayor at the African Cup of Nations, and also not being able to hit a barn door this season, many feel we need a new face – whether that’s as cover or as a new first choice. But finding someone who is likely to be available and provide the quality we need to push on, at this point of the season, will prove difficult. Everton managed it last year in Nikica Jelavic, but that is a rare example of getting it right in January.
We, as fans, do not know what goes on behind the scenes and the efforts the chairman, manager and scouting team are going to in order to bring new faces in.
Alvaro Negredo and Leandro Damaio are the most realistic names to have been linked, but neither will be cheap and both are unproven in the Premier League. These two factors do not bode well in fans’ hopes to see Levy get his chequebook out.
I am not trying to suggest who we should sign (that’s what Twitter’s for), nor am I criticising Levy. We, as fans, do not know what goes on behind the scenes and the efforts the chairman, manager and scouting team are going to in order to bring new faces in.
This is merely a reality check. Signings may well be needed in certain areas, but I wouldn’t bet on them happening.
One thing is guaranteed, Sky will pretend that whatever is or isn’t happening is really exciting. And we’ll lap it up until the crushing realisation that we’ve signed Andy Booth on loan again.