Following the sale of star Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Spurs had £86m to play with, and raised an additional £25m with the departures of Clint Dempsey, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker and Steven Caulker. That's well over £100m that Villas-Boas had to spend, though it's often said that technical director Franco Baldini was the one making the decisions over transfers.
In came Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Roberto Soldado, Vlad Chiriches, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli, with many tipping Spurs to comfortably finish in the top four having replaced Bale with a number of promising players from across the globe.
The downside of signing seven players who have never played in the Premier League is that they naturally take time to adjust to their new surroundings. Many foreign stars have struggled in England, from Andriy Shevchenko to Juan Sebastian Veron, it can be difficult for some players to hit the ground running.
But the European market is just much, much cheaper to buy from than the English market. Managers are right to take risks on foreign players as you will often get a better standard of player for less money than if you bought from another English side. The people in charge at the clubs that operate as such need to realise that players often take time to acclimatise in England, and that success may not be instantaneous despite the money forked out.
Some of the players just need to be featured more – which is on AVB – but some players just haven't justified their price tags, so here are eight players Spurs could've bought with the money they spent over the summer - including some players that Spurs did sign, who have impressed or should impress in the future.
Toby Alderweireld, Ajax to Atletico Madrid, £6m
It's been evident for some time that Spurs need defensive reinforcements. Michael Dawson isn't good enough and the injury to Jan Vertonghen has exposed their frailty in defence. Vlad Chiriches has played well since his summer move but if given the opportunity again, you have to feel that Spurs would've targeted another centre back and Belgian international Alderweireld was available for a bargain price.
Vlad Chiriches, Steaua Bucharest to Tottenham, £8.5m
As mentioned above, Chiriches has actually played quite well. The 24 year old centre back has made the transition from Romania to England look easy, and he showed his technical ability with a fine long range strike against Fulham. It's still early days for Chiriches, but Spurs would probably make this deal again.
Cristian Ansaldi, Rubin Kazan to Zenit St. Petersburg, £7m
It was obvious that Spurs needed a left back in the summer, and despite plenty of speculation linking them with a move for Fabio Coentrao from Real Madrid, nobody came in to replace Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who went out on loan to QPR. Ansaldi built a strong reputation with Rubin Kazan and completed a shock move to Russian rivals Zenit despite interest from abroad in recent times. £7m is a good price for the Argentine international, and would've saved Spurs playing Vertonghen or Kyle Naughton out of position at left full back.
Kevin Strootman, PSV Eindhoven to Roma, £17m
Spurs spent around £17m on acquiring Brazil international Paulinho from Corinthians, and whilst he has shown some of the talent that prompted that move, Strootman has been a star for Roma. A key part of their blistering start to the season, the 23 year old Dutch international was previously a target for Manchester United and is now worth up to £30m. If given the option, Spurs would probably swap Paulinho for Strootman.
Dries Mertens, PSV Eindhoven to Napoli, £8.5m
Spurs did sign a Belgian winger from the Eredivisie, but it was Nacer Chadli from FC Twente who went for a similar price as Dries Mertens, who left PSV for Napoli this summer. Mertens is more skilful and has good pace too, and whilst Chadli is a solid player for Spurs, Mertens could have offered the club a more dynamic option out wide than his compatriot.
Erik Lamela, Roma to Tottenham, £30m
Lamela was apparently a signing from Baldini, not Villas-Boas, but the Argentine forward has bags of talent and potential. He just needs time. Villas-Boas was seemingly reluctant to play the 21 year old, but another manager may be able to reap the rewards of his skill and creativity.
Christian Eriksen, Ajax to Tottenham, £10m
Another creative player who moved to White Hart Lane was Danish international Christian Eriksen, and the former Ajax man impressed early on in the season, only to suffer an ankle injury whilst playing for his country. Eriksen has been sorely missed by Spurs, who have struggled to put the ball in the net this season.
Mario Gomez, Bayern Munich to Fiorentina, £13m
Spurs coughed up a whopping £26m for Valencia striker Roberto Soldado, and whilst the Spaniard hit a hat-trick against Anzhi Makhachkala last week, he hasn't shown the same goalscoring prowess as he did in La Liga. Whilst he got injured with Fiorentina in September, there is obviously no guarantee that the same would've happened for Spurs, and his £13m fee should prove to be a lot better than the £30m for Soldado.
image: © Ruud Schobbers