Spurs have had tight purse strings so far this summer, but they have shown they can deliver exceptional value for money in the transfer market
IN the last fortnight the transfer window has stepped up a gear.
Manchester United have snapped up Romelu Lukaku for £75million while Chelsea’s spending looks set to reach nearly £130m after Alvaro Morata joined.
Even Arsenal and Liverpool have been active, making Alexandre Lacazette and Mo Salah their club-record signings respectively.
However, there is one exception: Tottenham.
Last season’s Premier League runners-up are often the odd one out and their refusal to spend big money is at the centre of that.
Will it cost Mauricio Pochettino’s side this season, though?
Our friends at Football Whispers ask whether Spurs are too stingy.
Given the club’s record signing, at £30m, is Moussa Sissoko, Spurs could be forgiven for refusing to go big in the transfer market.
Their previous record signing was Erik Lamela.
The Argentine, at £25m, struggled to justify that price-tag in his first season at White Hart Lane and, at one stage, looked set for a return to Serie A.
But he turned it around under countryman Pochettino and was hugely impressive during the 2015/16 campaign before starting last season brightly.
A mystery hip injury blighted halted his rapid improvement but he looks set to return to the fold ahead of the new campaign.
What’s more, Spurs have carved out a niche by bucking the trend.
No other side in the top four has done such astute business in recent seasons or given so many minutes to home-grown players.
The stars of previous campaign were all promoted from within or bought for a minimal cost.
Premier League Golden Boot winner Harry Kane came from the club’s academy, as did Danny Rose.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, among the top-flight’s best, cost just £10m while centre-half pairing Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen cost £11.5m and £10.6m respectively.
The same goes for Eric Dier. Snapped up from Sporting Lisbon for a paltry £4m when few had heard of him, the defensive midfielder is worth ten times that now.
Even Christian Eriksen, at a positively lavish £11.5m, has proven extraordinary value and is now one of the most feared playmakers in Europe.
The jewel in the crown, though, is Young Player of the Year Dele Alli.
A steal at £5m from MK Dons, Alli is now one of Spurs and England’s key players. The 21-year-old will net many, many times that fee if and when he leaves.
And therein lies the issue.
While no-one can argue with how Spurs go about their recruitment, particularly under Pochettino, there is always an underlying concern that if players do well at Tottenham they will be picked off by other sides.
In recent memory Spurs have lost Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United while Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid for a world-record fee.
Even this summer, the one big deal involving the North Londoners has been a departure – the £45m sale of Kyle Walker to Manchester City.
But can that be held up as evidence of Spurs failing to keep their best players at the club?
Walker’s wages at the Etihad will dwarf what he earnt at Tottenham and could be seen as another example of chairman Daniel Levy refusing to pay top dollar.
But he was allowed to leave after a bust-up with Pochettino, which led to Kieran Trippier starting several of Spurs ’games in the Premier League run-in.
In the past there might have been a case to say Spurs and Levy – a notoriously tricky negotiator – were paying the price for being too tight with money.
They’ve missed out on enough good players to suggest as much: think Eden Hazard, Joao Moutinho, Willian and plenty more.
But has that hindered the club? With an exciting young core – large chunks of which are British – it would be hard to make a case to suggest so.
However, Pochettino and Spurs still find themselves at a crossroads.
After two of the best seasons in recent history the pressure is now on to deliver silverware and prove Tottenham have what it takes to reach the next level.
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