Why Tottenham Hotspur Are the Major Winners of the Summer Transfer Window
The summer transfer window officially slammed shut at 23:00 GMT with the 20 teams in the English Premier League having spent some £482,900,000 on players.
Now that the dust has settled, we can look across the signings. Some were good, some bad and some downright strange, but one thing can be pretty much agreed universally—Tottenham Hotspur did some great business and are realistically the big winners of the window.
Andre Villas-Boas may still be looking for his first win as Spurs boss, but one thing the new manager can never say is that he was not backed by Daniel Levy during the window.
Here we look at the comings and goings at Spurs Lodge between July 1 and August 31 and why Spurs are the big winners and most importantly why they are now favoured to finish in the top four.
Read on and leave your comments about what deal impressed you on transfer deadline day and why.
Daniel Levy and Villas-Boas Have Reinvented the Spurs Squad in Just One Window
Andre Villas-Boas took over from Harry Redknapp in the summer with the Spurs squad very much in a state on flux.
There were far too many squad players at the club and not enough quality in depth to guard against key players getting injured. With that in mind Daniel Levy, the chairman, and Villas-Boas had a huge job ahead to build a squad capable of challenging for the top four and the title.
But this summer, against all the odds, they have moved practically all the deadwood along and signed quality—and all at a cost neutral price.
CF Emmanuel Adebayor (Man City) £5.0m
CM Mousa Dembele (Fulham) - £15.0m
CM Gylfi Sigurdsson (Hoffenheim) - £6.8m
CB Grant Hall (Brighton) Undisclosed
CB Jan Vertonghen (Ajax) - £12.0m
ACM Clint Dempsey (Fulham) - £6.0m
GK Hugo Lloris (Lyon) - £8.0m
Total Spent on Transfers: £52.8 million
GK Ben Alnwick (Barnsley) Free
CM Luka Modric (Real Madrid) - £33.0m
CB Sebastien Bassong (Norwich) Undisclosed
RB Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow) - £5.0m
CB Ledley King - Retired
LM Niko Kranjcar (Dynamo Kiev) - £2.0m
CB Ryan Nelsen (Queens Park Rangers) Free
LM Steven Pienaar (Everton) £4.5m
LB Danny Rose (Sunderland) LOAN
CF Louis Saha (Sunderland) Free
CB Bongani Khumalo (PAOK Salonika) LOAN
RF Giovani Dos Santos (Real Mallorca) Undisclosed
ACM Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg) - £10.3m
CM John Bostock (Swindon) LOAN
LM Massimo Luongo (Ipswich) LOAN
RM Ryan Fredericks (Brentford) LOAN
Total Taken in on Transfers: £54.8 million
Transfer stats supplied by www.soccerbase.com
Hugo Lloris Is a Top Quality 'Keeper
At just £8 million, French international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is an absolute steal.
Over the last couple of seasons Lloris has established himself as one of the best 'keepers in Europe.
At just 25 years of age he already has almost 260 Ligue 1 matches under his best, won the French 'keeper of the Year award twice, has 38 international caps for France and is now Laurent Blanc's first-choice captain.
Ligue 1 expert Matt Spiro had this to tell BBC Sport about the new Spurs signing: "Fabien Barthez aside, French goalkeepers have rarely enjoyed success in England. But those who have watched Hugo Lloris consistently excelling for France and Lyon have no doubt he will be a big hit at Tottenham.
"A quiet character off the pitch, the former OGC Nice goalkeeper is unflappable and extremely assured on it. Lloris is brilliant on his line but also quick to advance for crosses and is not afraid to come out to play the 'sweeper' role—a quality Andre Villas Boas appreciates.
"The one question mark surrounds his size. Although tall at 6ft 2in, he has a slender build and some feel that might hinder him in the fast and physical Premier League. Chelsea's goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon expressed concerns last year, saying: 'The Premier League is different to the Champions League and other leagues. Lloris is too small for English football.'
"Lloris' talent is not in question, however, and like most people in France, I believe Spurs have just pulled off one of the coups of the summer."
Tottenham's Midfield Is Now One of the Best in the EPL
Make no mistake about it: Spurs now possess a midfield that will give any team in the Premier League trouble.
Having already had the likes of first-team players Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, Scott Parker, Sandro and squad players Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore, Andre Villas-Boas has added some outstanding quality that will allow him to change the shape of his team quite easily.
Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey have both joined from Fulham to bolster the spine of the team and both players will bring undoubted Premier League talent.
Dembele is a phenomenal box-to-box player who is gifted with a superb ability to ghost past players like they weren't even there. He is also an excellent passer, is strong in the tackle and is overall a more complete midfielder than Modric, whom he is replacing—even if the Croatian is one of the most creative and best passers of a ball in the world.
Dempsey needs little introduction.
The American midfielder come forward has an incredible knack for getting on the end of moves in the box and when you combine his athleticism, goal-scoring ability and honesty on the pitch—he is incredible value at just £6 million.
Remember, this is the guy who has scored 50 goals from 184 Premier League games from midfield. Last season, when he was pushed forward by Martin Jol at Fulham to accommodate Dembele, he weighed in with an incredible 17 goals from 37 games.
And that is not to mention Gylfi Siggurdson who joined Spurs from Hoffenheim for £8 million after impressing at Swansea with seven goals from 18 games.
With these three in midfield Villas-Boas now not only has players to complement Gareth Bale in the goal-scoring charts but he has two quality players who will allow Spurs to play in numerous formations from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 and beyond.
Emmanuel Adebayor Is a Bargain at Just £5 Million
After this transfer window Spurs have quality and a threat to goal across the entire team.
But all of that would crumble without Emmanuel Adebayor up front.
The striker will be the lynch-pin of Andre Villas-Boas' favoured 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations.
At both clubs, Adebayor was moved on after a small amount of time but each time it was under certain circumstances.
But putting all of that to one side, all one has to do to recognise his quality is to study his play.
He is superb at holding the ball up and at bringing his team mates into play, which is essential when playing as a lone central striker in a passing system. However, unlike many of his contemporaries he is also excellent in the box and has a keen eye for goal.
If he plays well, Spurs will play well.
And considering the prices many teams have paid to acquire strikers, £5 million is an absolute bargain.
Arsenal, Liverpool & Newcastle Have Not...But Everton Have...
As far as finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League is concerned, Spurs have done incredibly well on all fronts.
Taking that Manchester City and Manchester United are guaranteed Champions League football, that leaves Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Newcastle and Everton as the group chasing the final two positions.
As it stands:
Manchester City are 1-50 to finish in the top four.
Manchester Utd are 1-20.
Chelsea are 1-6.
Arsenal are 4-5.
Liverpool are 12-5.
Spurs are 5-2.
Everton are 7-1.
After this window, City's and United's odds have not changed. Chelsea are completely reliant upon Fernando Torres staying fit and upon a back four that is getting older and more mistake-ridden by the minute.
Arsenal, yet to score after two games, have yet to find their rhythm and are suffering from having lost their two most influential players, Robin van Persie and Alex Song.
Liverpool have had a disastrous transfer window that has seen only four players come in while 13 have been allowed to leave. Now, like Chelsea, they too are completely reliant upon their centre-forward staying fit, while like Arsenal they too are trying to knit a new playing philosophy together.
Newcastle, for their part, have relatively stood still as far as progress is concerned while the same cannot be said of Everton.
The Toffees have strengthened significantly in the summer and have got off to their best start in almost a decade, so if you were to rank the teams to finish in the top four as we speak you would not even mention Liverpool, Arsenal or Newcastle.
And considering how Spurs have strengthened this summer where most of their rivals have not. It has to be said that Spurs are the biggest winners of the 2012-13 summer transfer window.