Premier League: Spurs and Moutinho, the One That Got Away
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Tottenham could pay dearly after failing to secure missing piece
Tottenham Hotspur were the busiest of the big sides in the transfer window, letting go of plenty and then grabbing what they could. Yet despite chairman Daniel Levy having the shrewdest of clutches, the club were unable to capture a playmaker who would provide the best replacement for the departing Luka Modric.
While Moussa Dembele has already shown just why fans of Manchester United were craving his box to box hustling and Clint Dempsey is as cultured as any forward, Spurs appear to lack that link man, a player who most things should go through.
It has to be said that many a side, chiefly Manchester United, has succeeded without one, though even they have shown recognition of its need through the signing of Shinji Kagawa and the continued reliance on Paul Scholes.
Yet Tottenham do not have the forward line of United or any of the other leading sides and their defence lacks consistency, due mainly to injuries and the bedding in of new faces.
However, the absence of a Moutinho is perhaps most stark when considering the effect it may have on players who relied on Luka Modric to enhance their own game.
Gareth Bale, now the team’s undisputed premier name, was quiet in his first three games, due to the absence of his natural augmenter and Aaron Lennon on the flank may similarly be troubled.
Though Modric was criticised by some of the White Hart Lane faithful for not contributing enough in terms of goals or assists, his absence could pay testament to Spurs’ lesser quality in possession this term.
Yet so much could have been different had Andre Villas-Boas and Levy prioritised the signing of the diminutive Moutinho, more so than Dempsey, even Dembele.
The Tottenham manager made no secret post transfer window that Joao, was to be his "wow" signing. Yet time somehow ran out on a deal despite it being almost certain before the Euros that Modric would be leaving this summer.
Villas-Boas already has the task of trying to resurrect the fortunes of his second major club in the space of two seasons. Many inside and outside the club remain unconvinced of his credentials as another "special one," or if there is even anything actually special about him.
Moutinho was one of AVB’s first signings when he took over the reins at the start of a phenomenal season for FC Porto. The question has to be asked, in search of a similar phenom, why Spurs and Villas-Boas, took too long this time around...
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