Subscriber Storts+ 2,366 Posted August 8, 2019 Subscriber Share Posted August 8, 2019 This was actually a really interesting transfer window for us to analyse – and after several windows without refreshing the squad, we have at least begun the much-needed process to rebuild and get younger without losing any quality. I’ll start with the two youngsters – this is where we always used to excel and how we managed to steadily grow the club and first team squad to become European regulars and then an established Champions League club. Going back to the period under Martin Jol, we went out and signed young English talent that grew with the club. Lennon, Dawson, Carrick, Defoe, Huddlestone etc. so many players that went on to play for England but also helped us establish an identity. Then beyond to Rose, Walker, Alli etc… The problem is, whilst we have still maintained that English nucleus, we reached the stage where finding players that could improve us from the lower leagues was really difficult. We no longer were able to take chances on these young English players because the team was too good, and too established, to give them enough opportunities to develop as they could. It’s impacted our transfer dealings in other ways too – with such tight management of the finances that we struggled to find impact players at a price that we were willing/able to pay whilst financing huge infrastructure work on the training ground and stadium. That is why I am so happy to see us end the window with two young English talents that have so much ability and potential and hopefully will mainstays in the squad for the next decade. Clarke is certainly more of a wildcard. He burst onto the scene with Leeds and made an instant impact – then had his medical incident – and didn’t quite hut the same heights. He was better off the bench but the talent was obvious and his running style/dribbling ability is definitely something that can’t really be taught. Will be very interesting to see if Bielsa utilises him more this season. One thing is for certain though Bielsa will have given him a strong reference and no doubt confidence Pochettino that he was good enough to take a chance on. Sessegnon is obviously a signing everyone is more familiar with. We’ve been linked to him for years, ever since he broke into the first team at 16, and it’s always felt like a matter of when not if we actually ended up signing him. You don’t play as many games as he has, and scored as many goals in the Championship as a teenager without being incredibly gifted, particularly because physically he still has some development to go. It’s a very curious deal because a lot of reports suggest we see him as long term replacement for Danny Rose, but so far in his career he has been much better going forward and seems to have that helpful knack of being in the right place at the right time in front of goal. I think we will start using him in the attacking sense when he gets up to speed with Pochettino’s methods and training, before slowly helping him develop his game to become a wing back for a modern day system. If anyone can help him work on his defensive deficiencies though it’s Pochettino, as his work with full-backs previously is highly impressive. He turned Rose and Walker into England defenders, got the latter a huge move to City and the former a viable top level career that didn’t always look certain. Then we come to the main event. Tanguy NDombele was Pochettino’s first choice signing this summer – and thankfully Levy delivered. He’s the player we’ve really been lacking for two seasons now. He’s Dembele’s belated replacement, although I hope he’s better and more consistent than Moussa ever was. This was a real coup for us I think, Levy finally entering the market as it is today, breaking our transfer record, and bringing in a midfielder that could have easily slotted into any top squad in Europe. His performance away at City in the Champions League was the real standout and I hope that he can continue to grow in a better league and push on to the next level. We’ve missed a box to box midfielder that can actually pass a football, and that’s what I think he offers us. You saw from his debut in pre season where he got a lovely assist with his first involvement that he has the ability to unpick defences from deep, particularly after bursting through the lines and driving us on as Dembele used to. I think Kane/Moura/Son will be the real beneficiaries of this as he should be able to set them free in behind a lot quicker than we’ve had from the position recently. He’s clearly not yet up to speed and will take a few months I think before we see the best of him but I’m really excited that we made such a statement with the signing and filled our biggest problem position early enough in the window for him to settle in. Finally we signed Giovani Lo Celso, another one of Pochettino’s asks and again Levy was able to finally deliver for him. I’m not sure how many people know about the intricacies of the deal, but think our days of amicable dealings with PSG might be over. They have a huge sell on clause, so we’ve paid a massive loan fee to Betis this season, to ensure that they get more money from the sale next year, and we get to pay less. It’s taken all summer to haggle and negotiate to reach this agreement but I’m delighted we’ve managed to get it over the line. He’s a player that I would say was probably the best midfielder outside of the big 2/3 clubs in Spain and one that I think will fit in nicely alongside Ndombele and Winks. It’s a weird one, because he’s not really an Eriksen replacement as he plays deeper than Christian and is a different sort of player, but at the same time if Eriksen leaves he will have to step up to the plate and fill that position. I have slight concern about just how left footed he is (Erik Lamela giving me a complex) and also that if he ends up being the Eriksen replacement he has massive shoes to step into considering how consistent Christian was with goals and assists. Either way though – we’ve signed two huge players for the first time, that when fit, should slot straight into the side, and two highly promising youngsters that add to the squad now and for the future. In terms of the rest of the window – we’ve managed (for now) to keep Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen. Pochettino really wants to get rid of Rose and Alderweireld. Once you lose Poch’s trust you can’t get it back and whilst he reintegrated them both into the squad he hasn’t forgiven them. Toby I think will stay this year and will leave on a free next year. We won’t offer him another deal. I think that’s the best outcome though because he’s a consummate professional and we are a better team with him in it. Rose we have been desperately trying to flog, and still wouldn’t rule out him going abroad, even if it does leave us very weak at fullback. Eriksen I have no idea about at this point. He’s mentally checked out imo, and losing out on £50 million+ would be a hard pill to swallow I think so I’m ready for him to go in the next few weeks, but it’s still a massive hole in our lineup, and even when he was poor for long periods, he still would produce goals/assists. Finally on what could have been. Dybala is obviously the big one. Adding him would have been massive for a number of reasons but mainly as a marquee signing it really shows how far we’ve come and as an almost perfect player to come in and play with Kane or to fill in for him. Pochettino loves him, and Levy had sanctioned the deal. He wanted to come, Juve wanted to sell him to us yet these ridiculous images rights were too hard to overcome. We’d been working on the deal for a few weeks and thought we had a breakthrough last night but it wasn’t to be. Must say I was really gutted earlier today when it fell through as he would have been the missing piece this season but can’t let it overshadow the other excellent business we have done. There’s been lots of talk of multiple deals happening for us over the course of this window. Was really happy we refused to sanction a loan for Ceballos with no option to buy. We’ve thankfully reached the stage where we shouldn’t be developing other teams players for them or guarantee minutes to them when we have our marquee signings in the same position. The main disappointment I think from a fans perspective is the lack of right back signing – replacing Trippier – although Poch seems to be happy to roll with Foyth/KWP there (think Aurier may still leave) – but that definitely seems to be a position of weakness for us. Overall I’d give the window an 8/10 – we signed two young, highly talented midfielders plus two promising youngsters – we kept the majority of the squad together for another season and we should be able to kick on again this year. Next year though we are going to go through all this again… but lets just enjoy the season first. Think Everton and Arsenal have had really good windows - and Villa have given themselves every chance to establish themselves back in the league with necessary deals. Onwards to Saturday. COYS Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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