Tottenham Hotspur have been eerily quiet so far this transfer season, leaving many fans to wonder just what is going on over at White Hart Lane. With time beginning to run out, Spurs better start making some moves if they hope to remain relevant in England's top tier.
It's not exactly a secret what Tottenham needs: better strikers. Much better strikers. And there's no better time than right now to bring them to White Hart Lane.
If only it were so easy. In recent days, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has expressed frustration with the transfer market, complaining that it's nearly impossible to compete with clubs like Manchester City when it comes to fees and wages.
"How do you compete with the Man City's of this world?" he lamented, adding, "It's gone beyond belief and made it really hard to compete for top players. If you want to be a top-four side, it's difficult because we can't pay those kind of wages."
In any case, there's only one way to ease the financial burden to get the players Spurs need to compete: start selling.
Spurs have plenty of players they can sell to bring in some cash without severely damaging their starting formation (and I'm not even including Luka Modric on this list, despite my personal opinion that Spurs need to get rid of him, and do it fast).
Here are six players that would fetch a reasonable price, eliminate some of Tottenham's wage burden, and help the club buy some quality forward attackers without necessarily destroying the best aspects of what they've built over the past couple of season.
Alan Hutton was Tottenham's number one man in the right-back position during their 2010-11 campaign, earning the role after Vedran Corluka suffered an injury early in the season. After recovery, Hutton's defensive form and contributions to Spurs' attacking game simply could not justify the revival of Corluka as the club's primary right-back.
With his success in the position, Alan Hutton has caught the eye of some other top clubs in England, having been linked to Aston Villa and Bolton during this transfer window. It was also reported earlier in the year that the Italian side Juventus were interested in buying him.
Alan Hutton is far from qualifying as a "deadweight" player in Tottenham's squad list. However, the right-back position is one that the club is most readily able to fill in the event of a departure, with Corluka back at full strength, Younes Kaboul having proven himself to be capable of filling the void, and Kyle Walker back from his loan spell at Aston Villa.
So, with the interest that Hutton is generating at the moment, it could do Spurs well to sell him while he's a hot name on the transfer market.
Rumor has it that Spurs would want at least £5 million for Hutton, but with their need for transfer funding growing more dire by the day, that figure could increase fairly substantially over the next couple of weeks.
If there's one position in the Tottenham lineup that continues to retain the depth required to compete with England's top sides, it's midfield. And if we're ranking the midfield options that see little playing time throughout the average season, Croatian sensation Niko Kranjcar would be among the best.
Despite the lack of playing time, Kranjcar made his mark on the club in a big way, scoring the winning goal in back-to-back matches in February against Bolton and Sunderland. Despite making only five starts in the entire EPL season, the Croatian could easily fetch one of the highest fees available to the Spurs for a player that won't have an immediate effect on their starting lineup.
It would be a tough call to sell one of their highest performing bench options in their attempt to achieve top-four glory and win a Champions League berth once again. However, if Spurs were to decide that it's worth the money, Kranjcar's market value is estimated to be around £9 million or more.
As Spurs continue to struggle in the acquisitions department this summer, that figure could prove to be too tantalizing to pass up.
Full disclosure: this list relies heavily on Tottenham's strikers as selling options in this summer's transfer market. And there's plenty of reason for it. Spurs need, more than anything, a complete overhaul of their forward attacking game.
Right now, the situation at striker is looking as dismal as ever, and Tottenham's English International striker is not free of blame.
Seeing Defoe leave the club would be a difficult pill to swallow, since he has been an integral player in Tottenham's modern history since 2003 (save for a few seasons at Portsmouth) and has scored 100 goals thus far during his career in North London.
However, he only found the back of the net four times in league play in 2010/11, having appeared in 22 EPL matches for Spurs. That's less than a quarter of what he accomplished in the previous season.
Defoe has often been a hot-and-cold striker, with his effectiveness depending heavily on the talent surrounding him. But it's not like his midfield teammates last season lacked the ability to find him in prime positions. His problem right now lies entirely in his finishing.
Luckily for Spurs, other big-name sides in England have expressed interest in the striker, who has fallen far out of favor at White Hart Lane. Among the interested parties: Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland, and Fulham.
With some estimating his market value to be in excess of £15 million, selling Defoe would eliminate one aspect of their goal-scoring woes, and provide plenty of funds to help bring in a more effective striker for the future.
As I said before, Spurs are in dire need of a complete overhaul of their forward attacking game. So selling their ineffective strikers is an imperative move in a transfer season that has seen almost no movement from the people in charge at White Hart Lane to improve their squad.
Giovani Dos Santos, however, doesn't make an appealing selling option because of his ineffectiveness on the pitch. He makes an appealing selling option because of his complete absence from the pitch.
Spurs acquired the Mexican International attacker in 2008, and he's been loaned out to various clubs throughout most of the time since. And he's been successful, as well.
The primary reason that Dos Santos seems out of favor at Tottenham may be the simple fact that he and Harry Redknapp don't exactly get along.
Dos Santos made waves in the transfer market following a successful CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in June. His Mexican side defeated the U.S. by a margin of two goals (after overcoming a two-goal deficit), and Dos Santos played a prominent role in that effort.
Many have speculated that Giovani could be a force to be reckoned with at White Hart Lane, if only he could earn some playing time and prove his worth. But if the past few seasons are any indication, that hardly seems likely.
If Spurs can't see a reason to give him a shot, then they'd do best to cash in and move on.
It's hardly a secret that Spurs fans have had a love-affair with Irish International striker Robbie Keane for a very long time. But it could be time for that to change.
Keane has already etched his name into White Hart Lane history for as long as the club exists, currently holding the distinct honor of being one of the top ten goal scorers to ever wear a Tottenham kit (123 goals in all competitions). But after nearly ten years at the Lane (minus a brief spell at Liverpool), Keane no longer holds a first-team spot.
His performances on the pitch are still proving to be effective, having been successful in loan spells at Celtic FC and West Ham over the past couple of seasons. But it seems unlikely that Spurs will be featuring Keane in their own lineup any time soon.
It will be sad to see him go, but selling Robbie Keane may now be a necessity as Tottenham struggles to free up some wage funds for future acquisitions.
This transfer season, Keane has been linked to a number of English sides, including Bolton, Sunderland, and newly-promoted QPR.
Earlier this summer, it was rumored that Tottenham rejected an offer from Blackburn to buy the Irishman for £2 million. Good call. With Spurs desperate get started on acquiring some new talent as the transfer season comes to a close, they would do best to ask for more than that for the player who's current market value exceeds £6 million.
I've made little secret of of my love for Peter Crouch. The giant striker is a personal favorite of mine and was a major reason I grew to love English football to the obsessive degree that I do today. That said, his chances of continuing in his role as Tottenham's goofy-looking target man looks questionable at best.
Crouch may have had an outstanding Champions League tournament in 2010-11, but it came at the expense of a weak showing in EPL. Having appeared in 34 league matches last season, Peter Crouch only found the back of the net four times, making him by far the least effective regularly-appearing striker for Tottenham against English sides.
This season, there will obviously not be any Champions League football for him to make up for those numbers.
Like Defoe, selling Crouch is a necessary product of the substantial changes that Spurs need to make in their striker situation. When Tottenham needs to score goals, there's simply no point in continuing to pay the men who cannot score goals, no matter how beloved they may be.
Among the parties interested in Crouch: Fulham, Stoke, and QPR.
If they're lucky, offloading Crouchy could bring an additional £10 million to Tottenham's transfer budget, and free up a decent chunk of their wages situation to boot.