Five reasons Franco Baldini's summer at Tottenham Hotspur was a success

Tottenham's director of football has received a lot of stick, but looking at this summer alone, how much is justified?

Judged on the summer of 2013 alone, Franco Baldini's contribution to Tottenham was a disaster.

Brought in as a director of football, he was tasked with spending the £100 million generated from player sales that summer, and his choices have disappointed, with only Christian Eriksen proving a hit.

Head coach at the time Andre Villas-Boas paid with his job, but after a poor start with Spurs in 10th position, attention is turning towards Baldini.

While he may never shake off his blowing of the club's golden chance last summer to revamp the squad, his work in the summer of 2014 is looking a lot better.

Here are five early reasons why Baldini can turn around to Daniel Levy and point to not only signs of improvement, but success.

Federico Fazio

The Argentine had a shaky start with two red cards, but has emerged in recent weeks as Tottenham's most reliable defender. He has displaced captain Younes Kaboul, and outperformed centre-back partner Jan Vertonghen. Bought for just £6 million, he appears great value for money. In the club's last two matches he has been their best defender on the pitch, and is making himself a must-start in the XI.

Eric Dier

Eric Dier had a dream debut at Spurs, with a last minute winner over West Ham. Versatile enough to play at right-back or centre-back, he can be a key part of the Spurs side over the next decade. He was bought for as little as £4 million, a quarter of the price rivals Arsenal paid for Calum Chambers, another shrewd piece of summer business from Tottenham.

Ben Davies

Left-back was a real issue for Spurs last season, and even a bright start from Danny Rose this year was not enough to make up for it. With no real alternative to Rose, Tottenham moved for 21-year-old Davies who has broken into the side recently and is looking like a ideal fit at the club. Costing only £10 million, a third of the price Manchester United paid for Luke Shaw, Davies again is looking like a potential bargain.

Selling Sandro and Ezekiel Fryers

While the sale of Sandro divided opinion at the time on deadline day, so far he is yet to prove Tottenham wrong. He struggled at QPR early on, and has not suffered another injury, and to get £10 million for a player who has not been at his peak since January 2013 may just prove smart business. Ezekiel Fryers is one who just did not get up to standard to play regularly and was sold to Crystal Palace, where he is yet to break into the side.

Ismail Azzaoui

Azzaoui could be Baldini's wildcard and brightest achievement. Just 16, Spurs convinced him to sign from Anderlecht in the summer, and hope the Belgian can be their answer to Eden Hazard or Adnan Januzaj. He bagged a stunning hat-trick in the Youth Cup this week against Blackburn, including a goal where he ran through with the ball from the centre circle to score. If he goes on to make it for the first team, Baldini will be able to claim it was under his watch that he was signed.

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