Spurs and the Transfer Window: a Transfer Muppet’s view

June 19, 2013 in Premier League, Transfers

It’s too late for me, guys.

As the sun mulls over whether it can be arsed to put in a sustained appearance this close season, the changes in me are already under way. I tried being casual about it. I tried a game of Football Manager. I even tried to stifle my symptoms with humour. All to no avail.

If I were bitten by a zombie, I’d implore you to leave me on the roadside to my inevitable fate; I’d beg you to get as far away as you can before you would get hurt.

My transformation into a full-time transfer muppet is almost complete.

It’s happened several months before schedule, in all honesty – I think it’s the suspense that’s triggered it. With all the other early activity and Real Madrid’s charm bombardment of Gareth Bale, the wait has me antsy enough to trigger early.

Tottenham Hotspur’s obvious needs in the market aren’t helping either. A creative outlet and striking options are issues that need addressing immediately, while cover for defence and wide midfield would be nice.

The job of addressing these problems now falls to Franco Baldini, the club’s new technical director and hopefully a more reasonable negotiator than Daniel Levy, whose dedication to getting the best deal is equally beneficial and detrimental to the club’s development.

The biggest, most tangible link Spurs fans have is Paulinho, who I know little about beyond the infallibility of YouTube scouting. Just that he’s used to beating Chelsea (always welcome), he’s favoured by Phil Scolari with a year to go before Brazil’s home World Cup, and that he’s what Brazilian tacticians call a “segundo volante�: a “second wheel�.

That’s a box-to-box midfielder to you and me.

Paulinho Chris Smalling

With the presence of Moussa Dembele in our squad and with Lewis Holtby identifying himself as a German #6 (watch your back, Schweinsteiger), I’m not sure he’s what we need. But I wouldn’t presume to know more than the likes of Baldini and Villas-Boas himself; the move probably signals a shift from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3 anyway.

A more immediately captivating player we’ve been linked to is Bernard from Fluminese. A young prospect with a bright future ahead of him, he’s small, skilful and… this sounds a little too familiar, doesn’t it?

Chelsea to snatch him from under our noses in mid-July.

With their agent seen in London last week, these rumours seem a little more tangible than your average bear, and with these two Samba boys linked, we may as well go for the hat-trick and Leandro Damiao.

But the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. No, I’d much prefer a proven man, one who gets goals in diff’rent area codes, one Roberto Soldado.

Having made a club record bid for him last summer only to be rebuffed, cash-strapped Valencia don’t have the Champions’ League football to fall back on – Southampton are about to poach their best playmaker for £7m, for crying out loud.

But none of this speculation matters one bit unless two key things happen. The first is that Spurs don’t wait till mid-August. Unlikely as that is, the second seems almost impossible: keep Gareth Bale.

Seems this summer’s incarnation of The Transfer Muppet has a healthy streak of pessimism. Yay.