Vincent Ralph asks if it is time for Spurs to do their business early rather than in a last-minute frenzy.
I am not a fortune-teller, but there is one thing I can predict with a fair degree of certainty.
Tottenham Hotspur will be linked with a lot of players this summer. Mostly the ones they have been linked with in transfer-windows-past, perhaps with a couple of new names thrown in to alleviate the boredom.
And then…nothing will happen.
And as the clock ticks down on transfer deadline day, when Sky Sports News goes crazy and reporters are standing before hordes of excitable wavers and shouters, White Hart Lane will be awash with gossip of this late deal and that late exit. And in the morning, they may just have got lucky or, more likely, the fax machine will have jammed a minute to midnight.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. There is another way to conduct your transfer business. You can do it early. Seriously, Mr Levy…it is allowed.
Just look at Liverpool, who have acted before the window is even open, and before most of their current players have begun their holidays. With deals for Kolo Toure and Iago Aspas already agreed, Brendan Rodgers has now turned his attention to a goalkeeper. And when one is secured, expect him to keep going.
Some clubs do their business early. Others, inexplicably, do not.
Perhaps I am doing Spurs a disservice. After all, Jan Vertonghen arrived in mid-July. And yet Mousa Dembele arrived just two days before the close of last summer’s transfer window; while Hugo Lloris was another Levy last-minute special.
So much so that Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said at the time, “The negotiation with the Tottenham directors has been the hardest I have had to undergo in 25 years.”
With Spurs’ failure to sign a striker in January regarded by many as the reason they missed out on a Champions League place next season, the club can ill afford another window of late-night haggling with the threat of disappointment.
They must look at Liverpool’s early moves and do the same.
Perhaps their targets are not as readily available. Perhaps they have to wait a while, for competitions such as the Confederations Cup to end. But that is long before the last day in August.
There is much to be said about striking the best deal. But there is more to be said about dealing with the best strikers.
Tottenham need at least one if they are to kick on next season. This summer will show if Levy wants his club to realistically challenge for the top prizes, or save a few pounds while continuing to fall short.
Do you think Spurs will act quickly this year to secure their summer signings? Or will it be another deadline day of disappointment?
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