Friday, 12 December 2008

How Much Will Spurs Spend In January? ‘Arry Talk’ Reading Between The Lines

The New Voice Of Football column at

With Spurs boss Harry Redknapp revealing earlier this week that after meeting with chairman Daniel Levy that there will be no big bags of cash to be thrown around in January and that he would be “happy” to get a couple of loan signings in at Tottenham next month. What exactly does he mean?

Well considering Tottenham have spent £50million or thereabouts in the last two summers on players. Does that mean if he is given £20million it’s not lots of cash, or does it mean £5million, £10million?

If you look at the Spurs squad in general there are a few positions that need strengthening immediately. Firstly Tottenham have been crying out for a quality holding midfielder and have been since Michael Carrick left for Manchester United. Second is another striker. The possibility of Fraizer Campbell returning to United, would leave Roman Pavlyuchenko and Darren Bent as the only two strikers at White Hart Lane. Even if Campbell sees out his loan, Spurs still need another one. Thirdly is a goalkeeper, whether it is to replace Heurelho Gomes or to provide serious competition. Because if, Arry rated Spurs No2, Cesar Sanchez he would have given him an opportunity by now, with Cesar looking like he is heading back to Spain with Valencia anyway.

My maths is not the best, but I know three won’t go into two ‘loan signings’. Saying that I think he will get a couple in on loan on a try before you buy basis, it’s Redknapp’s ‘wheeler dealer’ way.

However, you can’t always get the type of quality your looking for that way, so some money is going to have to be spent. So will Tottenham sell to buy? If you look outside the regular first-team squad at Tottenham it’s hard to see where substantial funds will be raised from, with the likes of Ricardo Rocha, Paul Stalteri, Gilberto, Adel Taarabt, Hossam Ghaly, Cesar and possibly Chris Gunter likely to be the players Redknapp is keen to sell.

Tottenham would be laughing all the way to the bank if they got anywhere near £15million for the seven of them. Yet, Spurs have been linked with a £16million swoop for West Ham pair Matthew Upson and Robert Green and a £9million move for Elano at Man City along with Venuzuelan midfielder Juan Arango at Real Mallorca, who looks like he will cost from the videos I’ve seen of him. A further £12million for Stewart Downing at Middlesbrough and this is just the last couple of days. Add to that Argentine Fernando Cavenaghi at around £10million from Bordeaux or another decent striker at the same amount and the bill is starting to soar like a tourist’s in a Soho clip joint.

So it just doesn’t add up, Levy will have to back him unless they have agreed to get by until the summer and go LARGE then like Tottenham have in the past two.

I think how much Redknapp is given will depend on if there is European football at White Hart Lane in the New Year. So should Spurs progress in the UEFA Cup next Thursday, which they are expected to do then I can only see money forthcoming from Levy. Yes it won’t be £50million, but it will be enough when added to Redknapp’s wheeling and dealing skills to ensure Tottenham have the players they need come February 1st.

Or to look at it another way, former QPR and Plymouth manager Ian Holloway might have put it like this: ‘When you have just started dating a nice lady and she is doing the business.

‘You take her anywhere she wants to go. It’s when the sparkle disappears, that you stop talking and sit in front of the telly every night, with a bag of chips.’

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