Tottenham Hotspur added five new signings to their squad during the summer transfer window while letting a number of players go.
The Spurs supporters have had mixed opinions on the success of the club’s dealings, with some feeling they made some great additions and others believing they came up short.
We at football.london have decided to take a look at the club’s successes and failings during the summer months and have given the recruitment in each department in the squad a good old fashioned school grade.
Poor old Paulo Gazzaniga. He was introduced on the Wembley pitch alongside club record signing Davinson Sanchez and you could tell that most of the 70,000 Tottenham fans there were thinking ‘Who?’
The signing of the former Southampton keeper caused plenty of discord among the supporters, who could not understand why when you’ve got Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm you needed another senior goalkeeper.
The club wanted Pau Lopez, another senior goalkeeper, to sign permanently but could not agree on a fee with Easpanyol. The reality was that with teenagers Brandon Austin and Alfie Whiteman being the next in line, Mauricio Pochettino wanted the safety net of a third keeper with experience.
Gazzaniga, born in Murphy, Argentina, the same town as Pochettino, was brought in on a cheap deal. The 25-year-old has Premier League experience and his new manager claims he was the best goalkeeper in the Spanish second division last season while on loan with Real Vallecano.
In terms of finding a third goalkeeper in case of an emergency who knows the way Pochettino works it’s not the worst deal at all.
Recruitment grade: C
The area that has had the most upheaval this summer. Kyle Walker was desperate to leave the club and chairman Daniel Levy managed to get a world record fee for a defender from Manchester City.
Kevin Wimmer was also desperate to leave, but in his case for first team football, and was sold on to Stoke City for a healthy profit. While Federico Fazio’s loan to Roma was made permanent and then teenager Cameron Carter-Vickers was sent out on loan to Sheffield United to prove he can cut it at senior level.
The incomings were impressive. Sanchez, 21, was described by Pochettino as “one of the most important and talented young players in Europe” after he was signed from Ajax.
He will push Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld and allow the Spurs boss to keep playing with his three at the back formation when needed.
Serge Aurier, 24, has baggage aplenty and will either turn out to be the best gamble Tottenham ever made or the worst. The Ivory Coast right-back will replenish the power and pace the club lost with the sale of Walker. If the former PSG star can cut out his off the pitch controversies and adjust to the Premier League then the club will have some player.
Juan Foyth, 19, joins from Estudiantes as another bright prospect, replacing Carter-Vickers in the talented young centre-back role. The Argentinean – a third at the club with Gazzaniga and Erik Lamela – was described by Gonzalo Bonadeo, a sports writer in Buenos Aires, as “one of the country’s big prospects”.
In terms of replacement and upgrades, as well as keeper Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Eric Dier, the defensive recruitment this summer seems on paper to be a major success.
Recruitment grade: A
The one area where Spurs failed. Pochettino desperately wanted Ross Barkley, but it didn’t happen, mostly because Everton refused to deal with Tottenham in the final days of the transfer window.
A late loan move for Barcelona’s Andre Gomes fell through because the Catalan giants could not guarantee finding a replacement for him, after failing with moves for Philippe Coutinho and Jean-Michael Seri.
The fans were desperate for a speedy winger, but that never seemed to be on Pochettino’s mind, despite previous interest in Wilfried Zaha who then signed a new deal at Crystal Palace early in the window.
The Spurs boss is not known for playing with wingers and the signing of Aurier allows him to maintain his belief of the pace coming from the full-backs.
Nabil Bentaleb made his move to Schalke permanent while Josh Onomah went out on loan to Aston Villa to prove his Premier League ability.
The Spurs boss did need another creative outlet to put pressure on Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, who must feel far too comfortable in their roles. Barkley would have provided that and Pochettino will now have to hope that Erik Lamela somehow comes back as good as new after his double hip operation and almost a year out.
Midfield is the one department of recruitment that Pochettino will have been disappointed with when the clock ticked past 11pm on Thursday.
Recruitment grade: D
Tottenham finally have another out and out striker who can score goals. The club have wrestled with the problem of finding a goalscorer wiling to come in and play second fiddle to Harry Kane.
Alvaro Morata rejected the challenge and Spurs had to go down the young and untried path with Vincent Janssen, which has not been a success thus far. Tottenham were never going to convince and big money, world class signing to come to the club to compete with poster boy Kane.
So they went the other way and broke with tradition and bought experience, swiping Fernando Llorente from under the noses of Chelsea.
The 32-year-old Spanish World Cup and European Championship winner could prove to be a snip at £12m if he can recreate the displays that brought 15 goals in 33 Premier League appearances last season.
He will take the pressure of Kane and bring an aerial threat from set pieces and crosses that Spurs have lacked. The former Juventus striker will be another winner for the dressing room and it could end up being a masterstroke from the recruitment department.
Janssen ended up staying as well, and with Heung-Min Son able to play in the striking slot if needed, Tottenham are suddenly well stocked in the department.
Recruitment grade: A
After such a slow start to the window, when they were mocked for being the only club yet to sign a player, Spurs kicked into gear in the window’s final weeks as Pochettino always said they would.
Despite knowing they cannot match others for wages, they still saw off competition from Chelsea for Llorente, PSG for Foyth, Manchester United and Juventus for Aurier and Sanchez had been closely monitored by Barcelona, who tried to sign him the previous summer.
Spurs have bolstered their defence and attack, with the only failing coming in not adding to their midfield ranks. That will give more opportunities to Harry Winks and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and could even see a breakthrough for a youngster like Marcus Edwards, if he can impress if given a chance in the Carabao Cup.
Ross Barkley may well join in January – he certainly seems to want to – if Spurs can get back on negotiating terms with Everton whose negotiating position is now far weaker.
Overall, the transfer window was not a resounding success but some clever moves were made.
Overall grade: B