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Jan Vertonghen quickly won a regular place in the Spurs team after his move from Ajax.
Andre Villas-Boas' appointment as Tottenham manager was the headline move in a summer of big change in north London in 2012.
King had retired while Modric and Van der Vaart moved onto Real Madrid and Hamburg, respectively.
In for the former Spurs captain's place came Ajax's highly rated defender, Jan Vertonghen.
The Belgian impressed straightaway at Spurs. His comfort on the ball caught the eye, but it was crucially balanced by a good defensive reading of the game that could be adapted to fit at centre-back and left-back.
After being voted into the Professional Footballers' Association team of the year in his first season, injuries notably undermined his second year in England this past campaign.
Behind Vertonghen in goal came the signing of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. The France international had to bide his time as Villas-Boas rewarded the continued good form of Friedel.
Once he got his chance Lloris did not look back. The much vaunted "sweeper-keeper" clearing up behind Villas-Boas' high line, his shot-stopping was second to none as Spurs once again fought for a place in the Champions League.
That continued into 2013-14 with Lloris only becoming more important to a Spurs side struggling to reclaim a true defensive identity.
With Modric gone, a new-look midfield began to take shape at White Hart Lane.
Gylfi Sigurdsson was bought from Hoffenheim after a successful loan spell with Swansea City. As proved to be the case in his second season as well, the Icelander's eye for a goal proved useful but not so frequent as to overlook the issues with finding his best position.
Clint Dempsey's role in what proved to be his single season with Spurs was more easily defined. After a great few years with Fulham, his productivity in attacking midfield was the key reason he was recruited across London.
The American's 12 goals in all competitions was a decent return—just one not quite substantial enough to overlook the quieter aspects of his game. In comparison to Gareth Bale's phenomenal form moving into 2013, it was harder to justify starting the less influential Dempsey.
That was not an argument that could be made against Mousa Dembele.
The continued criticism of a lack of goals was an issue even then. But while the Belgian was a different player style-wise to Modric, he did partly fill the void left by the Croatian.
With Sandro alongside him to cover, Dembele relished his remit to drive Spurs forward. His passing was sound, but made particularly useful at the ends of the purposeful dribbles they often concluded.
After Sandro's season was ended through injury, Dembele took on much of the defensive responsibility (albeit sometimes wrongly, ceding influence as he was to the more dominant but less effective Parker). It underlined this side of his game but perhaps has subsequently seen the midfielder come to be regarded as a jack-of-all-trades, though a master of none.