Tottenham Hotspur’s 2013 summer transfer window has gone down in history… but not quite in the way they would have wanted.
Spurs sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a club-record fee, and splashed the cash on a host of signing to try and bolster the squad at Andre Villas-Boas’s disposal.
In came Vlad Chiriches, Etienne Capoue, Paulinho, Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Nacer Chadli and Roberto Soldado, and it’s fair to say they didn’t really get return on their investment.
Paulinho, Capoue, Soldado and Chiriches lasted just two years at the club, Chadli just three, and Lamela is now the only one of the crop left in North London following Eriksen’s exit earlier this year.
Tottenham managed to dodge something of a bullet though, having failed to sign Alen Halilovic from Dinamo Zagreb with the Bale money.
Former Dinamo president Zdravko Mamic was quoted as saying that he held talks with Daniel Levy over a deal to sell Halilovic to Tottenham, alongside defender Tin Jedvaj.
That deal would have been worth a quarter of the Bale money, and whilst Halilovic was touted for stardom at the time, his career has proved to be a major disappointment.
Now 24, Halilovic has just signed for Championship side Birmingham City on a free transfer, having been without a club since leaving AC Milan over the summer.
Halilovic joined Barcelona a year after Spurs missed out, but has failed to find a home amid spells with Sporting Gijon, Hamburg, Las Palmas, Milan, Standard Liege and Heerenveen.
He’s ended up with just 10 caps for Croatia, and his move to Birmingham just goes to show that the former wonderkid hasn’t lived up to his potential – and Tottenham saved themselves from another costly error in that 2013 window.