Over the next two weeks the sport headlines will be dominated by tennis, giving football a two week break amid rumours and confirmations of transfers.
Today (29th June) saw a couple of significant announcements and while the focus will be on Cech to Arsenal, in my view there is a much more significant transfer being reported. Some may not understand why Paulinho to Guangzhou Evergrande in China from Spurs for £9.8M (apart from the fee) is significant, but it is because this is the first of the seven signings to leave White Hart Lane.
Those seven signings, funded mostly by the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in 2013, have had varying degrees of success. Mostly from the satisfactory (Eriksen) to promising (Lamela) to surprising (Chadli), while the other three (Chiriches, Soldado, Capoue) will likely join Paulinho on the way out.
So much was made of the signings and the best analogy I heard was that we sold an iPhone and bought a calculator, compass, alarm clock etc. The signings promised so much as we needed strength at the back and bought an international Centre back, we needed a strong striker and bought one of the best from La Liga, and we got promising young players from Ajax and Roma. Sadly none were the next Modric or Bale, and the suspicion is that some of the signings were done by Franco Baldini, another man likely on his way this summer.
It’s not the end of an era, just the memorable end to a summer where Spurs spent and spent some more, and for a while we looked like the team we could become but ended up a shadow of what we were.
I predict that three will be permitted to stay and will be revaluated in 12 months time, while others will be permitted to leave this summer too.
Lastly it’s not Paulinho’s fault, it’s just that he arrived after a successful Confederations Cup tournament and had the tag of a Brazilian Frank Lampard. He got some starts but never consistently delivered and the option was to stay and fight for a place against emerging youth talent in Bentaleb and Mason, or move on, and I hope that this move to reunite him with his former Brazil manager Luis Felipe Scolari is the right one.