Ranking the Players Spurs Bought with the Gareth Bale Money

Matt Clough@@MattJCloughFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2015

Ranking the Players Spurs Bought with the Gareth Bale Money

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    The summer of 2013 was dominated by one transfer, with Gareth Bale trading White Hart Lane for the Bernabeu for an eye-watering world record fee of £86 million, per the Telegraph.

    While Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy is notoriously watchful when it comes to keeping control of the purse strings, he allowed Spurs’ manager Andre Villas-Boas to reinvest the money as he saw fit. The result was the Portuguese bringing in seven players (excluding youth prospect Zeki Fryers) with the goal of taking Spurs to the next level.

    Following the departure of Roberto Soldado, we’re ranking those seven players in order of best to worst.

    The ranking is based on their impact on the club since arrival compared to the amount that was spent on acquiring them and their reputation prior to arriving at the Lane.

7. Roberto Soldado

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    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Fee: £26 million

    With a hefty fee and a fine goalscoring pedigree at Valencia, Roberto Soldado was arguably the player who Spurs fans had the highest hopes for.

    Having averaged better than a goal every two league starts at Los Che, Getafe and Osasuna, there was a weight of expectation on Soldado’s shoulders. However, he never looked capable of hitting the same heights in England, as he simply failed to adjust to the demands of the Premier League.

    His return of seven league goals—four of which were penaltiesacross two seasons was simply unacceptable for a team with the attacking capabilities of Spurs, and he’ll be hoping that his move to Villarreal will revitalise his flagging career.

6. Erik Lamela

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Fee: £30 million

    Only ahead of Soldado on the basis that he may still prove some worth, Erik Lamela has arguably been a bigger disappointment. While the Spanish striker was signed to supplement Spurs' attacking options, Lamela was signed as a like-for-like replacement for Bale. It has been a billing he has completely failed to live up to.

    Despite brief flashes of genius—including one goal that was voted the best of last season’s Europa LeagueLamela has been an immensely frustrating figure for the most part, failing to achieve any sort of consistency.

    The longer he toils at the Laneand the bigger the eventual loss that Spurs will presumably have to take on himmay serve to push him below Soldado.

5. Etienne Capoue

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    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Fee: £8.6 million

    While a largely dependable figure, Etienne Capoue never looked capable of quite providing the quality required at Spurs.

    He made just 17 league starts across his two seasons with the club and was never able to earn a consistent run in the first team despite being capable of playing in both defence and midfield.

    The £6 million that the club received for his services from Watford this summer means he wasn't a particularly bad piece of business.

4. Vlad Chiriches

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    Fabrizio Giovannozzi/Associated Press

    Fee: £8.5 million

    For Vlad Chiriches—now at Napolihis time at Spurs was a tale of two seasons. He hit the ground running and was one of the club’s best performers during the tumultuous 2013/14 season despite largely serving as a back-up player.

    However, in his second season he hardly got a look in under new boss Mauricio Pochettino, making just eight league starts and falling badly off the pace.

    The £4.5 million that Spurs recouped of his fee softens the blow of him not quite working out at the Lane.

3. Paulinho

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Fee: £17 million

    Paulinho presents something of a conundrum when it comes to assessing his time at Spurs.

    While he readily established himself as a mainstay of the first team, he never truly lived up to the hype that greeted his arrival at White Hart Lane.

    The third most expensive of the seven signings after Lamela and Soldado, Paulinho was sold this summer for £10 million, a testament to Daniel Levy’s negotiating skills despite the £7 million loss.

    His career at Spurs wasn’t a complete write off by any means, but it never quite delivered either.

2. Nacer Chadli

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    Tim Ireland/Associated Press

    Fee: £6 million

    Given the fantastic reputations boasted by Lamela and Soldado prior to their arrival at Tottenham, it’s a testament to how good Nacer Chadli has been that he is ranked second of the seven players on the list.

    He gave a limited account of himself during his first season at the club, but in the last campaign he came into his own, scoring 11 times and generating eight assists in 28 league starts, per WhoScored.

    While he is still guilty of turning in some nondescript performances, he has all the makings of an important player for Spurs this season.

1. Christian Eriksen

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    Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

    Fee: £11.5 million

    Christian Eriksen is undisputedly Villas-Boas’ best buy with the Bale money, and the Dane ably plugged a gap left by Luka Modric—another sale to Real Madrid.

    Eriksen has proved himself to be one of the Premier League’s best attacking orchestrators, with WhoScored ranking him as the best Spurs player in his debut season and the fourth best last season.

    Combined with the fact that he cost a comparatively paltry £11.5 million, Christian Eriksen is by far and away the best of Spurs’ seven signings made with the Bale money.

    All transfer fees are per the Daily Mail.