Friday, December 2, 2022

The Good And The Bad: Rating Tottenham Hotspur’s Transfer Market Activity In January

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

After a promising start to life under Antonio Conte, Tottenham Hotspur had headed into the January transfer window with lots of hopes and expectations, with the manager fully backed by managerial director Fabio Paratici and club CEO Daniel Levy.

One month later, the Lilywhites have done significant business bringing in Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus on deadline day, while offloading Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli, Bryan Gil and Giovani Lo Celso.

Here, at The 4th Official, we will take a deeper look at Tottenham’s activity and rate their performance in the recently concluded January transfer window.

Incomings

Tottenham Hotspur had largely missed out on their top targets in January, a list that includes the likes of Luis Diaz, Franck Kessie and Hugo Ekitike among many others.

Perhaps the most notable one was Adama Traore. The Lilywhites were reportedly leading the race to sign the Wolves attacker in January but were denied at the last minute by FC Barcelona, with the player opting to return to his former club.

Adama’s rejection forced Tottenham to settle for Juventus starlet Kulusevski. The youngster arrived from Juventus on loan and is expected to compete with Lucas Moura for a place in the starting eleven, just in behind Harry Kane.

Kulusevski hasn’t shown much promise at Juventus, but he does offer excellent versatility and work rate which could be useful for Antonio Conte during the second half of the campaign.

The other signing was Bentancur, who arrived at the club on a permanent deal. The Uruguayan international is a much more sensible signing for a Tottenham side desperate for more quality in the middle of the park.

Tottenham (Kulusevski)
Sweden’s forward Dejan Kulusevski looks on during a press conference at the Friends Arena in Stockholm on November 8, 2021, a few days ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B qualification football match between Georgia and Sweden to be played in Batumi, Georgia on November 11. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency:
Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/)
Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

While Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp have done well for the most part, Bentancur can offer the added quality that should help Spurs take on the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and West Ham in the race to finish in the top four.

Outgoing

If we include Jack Clarke, who was shipped out on loan to Sunderland, Tottenham got rid of five players in the winter transfer window.

The most notable one was Tanguy Ndombele’s return to Olympique Lyon. It was a sensible move as the Frenchman hadn’t shown much quality or consistency during his time in England. A mid-season move to Lyon, to that end, could significantly help Spurs balance their wage book.

Meanwhile, Dele Alli was shipped to Everton on a permanent deal. This move made even more sense given the Englishman’s rapid fall from grace in recent years. Since the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino, Alli hasn’t been able to impress a single Spurs manager and his move to Everton could bode well for all three parties involved.

The loan of both Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil, though, were a couple of impulsive decisions from Spurs’ perspective. Gil, in particular, had only arrived at the club in the summer, and despite a poor start to life in England, the youngster might have only required a little bit of time to settle in.

As for Lo Celso, he has struggled with fitness over the past two years. But the Argentine was finally starting to get back to his full fitness, before being shipped out on loan to Villarreal.

The move doesn’t make much sense as Villarreal will never be able to pay Lo Celso’s valuation, meaning the only real hope Spurs have is that the former PSG starlet rekindles his old form in La Liga so that they can sell him for a higher price in the summer.

Tottenham Performance Rating: 7/10

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