Head coach Mauricio Pochettino knew all about the Frenchman's talents, having managed him at the Saints, but Southampton refused to sell for anything less than £24 million.
This was a bidding war Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy refused to be drawn into, and unable to offer Champions League football last summer, Spurs walked away, leaving the path clear for Schneiderlin to join Manchester United.
The Frenchman comes up against Spurs this Sunday when he visit White Hart Lane with United, looking up at the North London side in the table.
Pochettino was pushed to look at other solutions, and decided to move defender Eric Dier into central midfield.
The results have been outstanding, with Dier becoming a must start in Spurs' first choice XI, pushing Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason into the shade, even winning England international call in the position.
He even matches up well to Schneiderlin, who he will line up against this weekend, despite the Frenchman having more experience in the position.
|Team||Tackles Won per game||Interceptions per game||Passing Accuracy||Ball Recovery per game||Key Passes per game||Aerial Duels Won per game||Touches per game||Appearances|
|Morgan Schneiderlin||Man Utd||1.88||2.5||90%||5.54||0.38||0.67||62.75||24|
While Schneiderlin edges Dier four to three in key categories, the England ace more than holds his own, and in the departments he is behind the United midfielder, he is only narrowly so.
Dier still has plenty of scope to improve, being only 22-years-old, and his performances this season have proved not only that head coach Mauricio Pochettino is a shrewd judge of talent, but also that Daniel Levy was right not to splash out big money on signing Schneiderlin.