Just how good a summer is Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy having?
Daniel Levy is having some transfer window. He has backed his manager so far to the tune of some $60mm and if rumours are to be believed, there is more to come.
Willian and Erik Lamela are the latest to be linked, and unlike Arsenal down the road, and defending champions Manchester United, those linked with the club seem to sign.
Having already recruited an impressive amount of talent in Paulinho, Soldado, Capoue, and Chadli to go with the earlier than anticipated arrival of Lewis Holtby, Willian and Lamela will give the Spurs squad both quality and depth.
Losing Gareth Bale is a racing certainty and Levy has gone out and replaced their star man with names that Arsenal fans could have only dreamed of. There is still an argument that Spurs are light on defenders, but they way Levy and Technical director Franco Baldini have operated since the end of last season, players will have been lined up.
The performance against newly promoted Crystal Palace at the weekend didn’t really emphasise the gulf in class which the respective team sheets suggest exist, but three hard earned points against a newly promoted side in a derby with everything that goes with the opening day of the season will be more than welcome, however they come about. Spurs will play better and lose this coming season.
Spurs look to have set their stall out. They have done what Arsenal should have done. They have recognised that the top three sides have all changed managers, and there will be a period of adaptation and development. They will be delighted at the developments so far, or lack of them at the Emirates though
Levy and his board will have been watching Arsenal’s activities as keenly as any one eyed Gunner, and will have been just as surprised at the lack of activity. The boasting of having a transfer war chest has backfired spectacularly and as Spurs have bought sensibly and effectively, the shortcomings and lack of depth at Arsenal was there for all to see as they were humiliated by Aston Villa on Saturday.
The icing on the cake would be that Bale stays. It is unlikely, as Levy runs too tight a ship to not recoup the money spent, despite the sales of Clint Dempsey, Steven Caulker, Tom Huddlestone and Scott Parker recently. Spurs obviously have a strategy, and a list of players that fit the bill to come in and replace departed players, and to improve on what was already a good squad last season.
Despite Huddlestone’s outburst after his departure to Hull, saying the English players at White Hart Lane are being replaced by overseas players, I don’t think anyone can bemoan the fact that quality players are coming in.
He himself has gone to Hull as they strive to get established Premiership players in, and has been replaced by one of the most exciting and coveted players in the Brazilian national squad. Good business done by both sides, as they attempt to improve on what they had.
Do these new signings put Tottenham in with a shot of going even higher than fourth? If Willian and Lamela come in, then definitely, and in the unlikely event of Bale staying, then certainly.
Chelsea and Manchester City will be too strong, and should take the top two spots, but if Manchester United continues to have as equally a disappointing window as Arsenal, then third spot could be wide open.
Spurs have seen this as an opportunity to take advantage of a changing landscape at the top of the league, and have done their best to maximize their chances. It will be an exciting season down at the Lane, that is for sure, with or without Gareth Bale.
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