Ranking and Grading Tottenham's Summer Transfer Signings on Form This Season

Sam Rooke@@SamRooke89Featured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2016

Ranking and Grading Tottenham's Summer Transfer Signings on Form This Season

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    Dan Mullan/Getty Images

    Tottenham Hotspur added nearly £50 million worth of players in the summer of 2015. 

    Heung-Min Son's reported £22 million fee from Bayer Leverkusen made up the largest single piece of that outlay, while Toby Alderweireld joined from Atletico Madrid for a significant £11.5 million

    Clinton Njie moved from Lyon, Kieran Trippier jumped across from relegated Burnley and Kevin Wimmer was recruited from the Bundesliga's Cologne. 

    It was a relatively busy transfer window for Spurs, but only Son and Alderweireld were realistically expected to influence the first team this season. 

    Head coach Mauricio Pochettino can be pleased with a good summer where his team was upgraded in defence, midfield and attack without breaking the budget. 

    After 25 Premier League games, it is time to assess which players have succeeded and which ones still need time to show their best for Spurs. 

    Dele Alli also arrived with the team for the first time over the summer, but he was a January 2015 signing and so is not eligible for this list. Suffice to say, he'd have earned a top grade. 

Clinton Njie

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    Grade: Incomplete 

    Relatively little was known about Clinton Njie in England when he arrived from Ligue 1 for a surprisingly large fee of £8 million

    Tottenham were paying for the potential he had shown as a support striker for the prolific Alexandre Lacazette and the pace he possesses. 

    Pochettino gave Njie several opportunities as a late substitute in the Premier League. By positioning the 22-year-old high up the pitch and asking him to use his pace and aggression, the Spurs boss was able to move Harry Kane into a deeper position and take on a more creative role. 

    Njie started twiceagainst AS Monaco and Anderlecht in the Europa Leagueto mixed effect. He played well against the Ligue 1 club but poorly against the Belgians

    Unfortunately, the Monaco match was his last so far as he suffered a nasty knee injury and was forced to undergo surgery

    Njie has shown the potential that interested Spurs, but he is yet to register a goal and has just one assist. It seems harsh to assign him a grade based on this little evidence, so the Cameroon international gets an "incomplete" mark.

    The indications are there that he'll be a useful player once he is back to full fitness.

Kevin Wimmer

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    Stephen Pond/Getty Images

    Grade: We'll see

    Kevin Wimmer was a key man in the equal-strongest defence outside of the Champions League clubs in Germany last season. 

    Cologne finished 12th but conceded just two more goals than second-place Bayer Leverkusen. The 23-year-old was integral to that. 

    Tottenham got a bargain when they brought Wimmer in for just £4.3 million over the summer. 

    Tall, strong and confident with the ball at his feet, the Austria international fits right in with Tottenham's other central defenders. 

    The technical quality he possesses can be seen by paying close attention to the way he passes the ball. He whips his passes with a curve that demonstrate a well-honed technique. 

    He is still young for a centre-back, and he will benefit from training and playing alongside Spurs' excellent first-choice pairing of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. 

    Assigning Wimmer a grade at this moment would be largely pointless because he has only now been thrust into the first-team by virtue of Vertonghen's injury. 

    With the Belgian sidelinedpotentially for several monthsWimmer is now the starting central defender with Alderweireld. 

    His grading at the end of the season will be instructive. 

Kieran Trippier

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    Grade: B-

    Kieran Trippier arrived at Tottenham for £3.5 million with the difficult objective of displacing Kyle Walker as starting right-back. 

    A prolific chance creator for relegated Burnley, the 25-year-old was expected to push Walker in the way that Ben Davies did Danny Rose in the previous season. The England international had stagnated in recent seasons as the virtually incontestable starter. 

    The arrival of the former Clarets mana different kind of player to Walkergives Mauricio Pochettino tactical flexibility. 

    Trippier is an excellent crosser of the ball, but he lacks Walker's astonishing athleticism. 

    He has started 13 games in all competitions. 

    His early appearances suggested that maybe the jump from Burnley to Spurs would be too much, but he has clearly benefited from Pochettino's coaching and improved significantly across the season. 

    Trippier racked up five assists for Burnley last season, which equates to more than 17 percent of the 28 goals they scored. 

    The statistics would suggest that he is yet to replicate that form, but the one goal and one assist he has registered have been key. 

    Strangely enough, both were decisive interventions against Watford

    He assisted Heung-Mon Son's winner at Vicarage Road and scored the only goal in the 1-0 win at White Hart Lane.

Heung-Min Son

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    Stephen Pond/Getty Images

    Grade: C

    Heung-Min Son is the third-most expensive signing in Tottenham's history. According to Transfermarkt, he is the 115th-most expensive player in football history.

    Two productive goalscoring seasons with Bayer Leverkusen prompted Spurs to move for the flexible South Korean attacker. 

    Son hasn't had the effect that the club would have hoped when offering such a significant fee. He has had issues adjusting to the physicality of the Premier League, sometimes appealing for a foul when he is fairly bumped off the ball.

    Five goals and six assists from 25 appearances (12 starts and 13 off the bench) is a solid return, but he isn't providing the top-drawer productivity that was expected. 

    In truth, any new player joining a Mauricio Pochettino team can be expected to make a slow start. The Argentinian is massively demanding in terms of both physical fitness and tactical awareness. 

    Son has adapted quickly enough to emerge as a useful interchange player and can be expected to take a full starting role in the future. His versatility is key to his value. 

    The 23-year-old is a capable understudy to Harry Kane as a centre-forward and comfortable across the attacking midfield line. With his pace, close control and vicious shot, Son is a constant goal threat. 

    His partnership with Dele Allievident from their first appearances togetherhas the potential to grow into something magical. 

    Son is a hugely promising talent, seemingly best suited to European nights and clashes with the league's elite. He has a rich future ahead of him at Tottenham.

Toby Alderweireld

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    Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    Grade: A+ 

    Toby Alderweireld has been the best signing by any Premier League club this season. 

    More than West Ham United's Dimitri Payet, Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech and Everton bargain Gerard Deulofeu, Alderweireld has been phenomenal. 

    Atletico Madrid's overabundance of central defenders has proved a huge boon to Tottenham. 

    The Belgium international arrived after a tug-of-war with Southampton for £11.5 million and has proved himself worth every penny. 

    Alderweireld has been an ever-present, playing every minute in the Premier League so far. 

    He is rarely forced into making tackles, generally positioning himself to prevent chances rather than make clearances. His poise with the ball and calmness without it make him a source of calm for the players on either side of him. 

    Jan Vertonghen, his former Ajax and current Belgium international team-mate, has been perhaps the biggest beneficiary, returning to his best form. 

    Kyle Walker is also playing at a consistently high level at right-back. Alderweireld's calming presence is partly at the root of that improvement.

    The accuracy of his long passes are another hugely valuable asset. 

    When Spurs seek to reset play after an attack breaks down, the 26-year-old allows them to quickly switch the play. Rather than play two or three passes to shift the ball, Alderweireld can fire it to either flank with precision. 

    Dele Alli has twice scored from long Alderweireld passes; that is a potent weapon that every opponent must be wary of. 

    The signing of Alderweireld may not be the catalyst for league titles for Tottenham, but he has been vital to his team evolving into an elite side this season.


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