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Monday, 19 May 2014

The Spurs summer transfer window jigsaw

No manager, an unhappy, unbalanced and disjointed squad who didn't want to play for an interim manager, everything is not rosy at Tottenham at the moment.

The Spurs summer transfer window jigsaw

With a summer transfer window to negotiate it is imperative a new manager is in place by the end of the month and then work starts in earnest. Whoever is appointed will have until the UK window opens on June 9th (Holland, Turkey, Denmark June 11th) to watch videos, assessing what he has and what he wants.

He'll talk to coaching staff about attitudes and may well give Tim Sherwood and Andre Villas-Boas a call to gain further insights into current players.

The European window in the major leagues (France, Germany, Italy, Spain) opens 1st July so there is possible breathing space but transfers can be lengthy so negotiations would have to start as soon as possible having identified and researched targets.

Our committee will already have a list of scouted players with alternative options for each position. That will be discussed with the new manager, who may well have a list of his own as well.

It is impossible to buy anyone without knowing what system the team will be playing next season and that won't be known until a new manager is confirmed, even though those discussions will have already taken place during the interview process. The existing squad then has to be looked at in the light of the system to be played before deciding who to let go.

Without knowing whether we will be playing 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 everyone is in limbo. Players are apt to change their mind at a moments notice, leaving one minute, staying the next and tell you they never thought anything else so any player could stay and any player could leave,

Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Etienne Capoue, Sandro, Paulinho, Kyle Naughton have all made noises that they could leave. You could add Danny Rose and Andros Townsend to that list if you consider their comments last summer about not staying to sit on the bench.

Sandro and Paulinho have both now said they have no intention of leaving but what of the others. Will a new manager convince them of his vision and have them stay or will they decide to leave in search of Champions League football or a regular starting berth.

Now it's not simply a case of sell some players and buy other players, it's a little more complex than that so let's have a look at how it affects us.

Home Grown Rule

Within the 25 man squad is the home grown rule to consider, 8 must fit the criteria and be a part of that 25 man squad at the start of each transfer window.

Home grown players are defined as those who “irrespective of nationality or age, have been affiliated to the FA or Welsh FA for a period of three seasons or 36 months prior to 21st birthday.

A players like 20 year-old Harry Kane would not have to be named in the squad and 19 year-old Nabil Bentaleb doesn't fit the home grown criteria so he could play but not be included in the registered squad.

Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen being only 21 at the time weren't in the 25 man named Premier League squad list at the start of last season but they have to be next season so you can see it's a little more complex than simply naming a squad.

Put simply clubs can not name more than 17 non home grown players aged over 21 in their Premier League squad.

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Of young players on the books at the moment Jordan Archer is 21 at the start of next season, Harry Kane 21, Zeki Fryers 21, Alex Pritchard 21, Cristian Ceballos 21, Ryan Fredericks 21, Cameron Lancaster 21, Jonathan Miles 21, Kevin Stewart 20 and Milos Vejlkovic 18 so none would have to be named in the 25 man squad.

Tom Carroll (QPR loan) will be 22 at the start of next season so has to be named as would Jake Livermore 24 (Hull loan), Grant Hall 22 (Swindon loan) and Ryan Mason 23 (Swindon loan).

Naughton, Rose, Walker, Dawson, Sigurdsson, Lennon, Townsend, Obika, Defoe and Dawkins were the home grown players at the start of this season. Defoe and Dawkins have already left leaving the bare 8 from that list at the moment.

If the club simply sold Naughton, Dawson, Rose, Lennon or Townsend as some are suggesting, then they would need replacing in the squad with home grown players. With that in mind who do you sell, who do you keep and who do you replace them with?

Kyle Naughton 25 says he wants first team football and he's not going to get that with Walker at the club so selling him and replacing him with home grown Micah Richards is an attractive option.

Michael Dawson 30 as our only centre-half who is rarely unfit is a certainty to stay as is Kyle Walker, 24 at the start of next season. I'd expect Aaron Lennon 27 and Andros Townsend 23 at the start of next season to stay as well, leaving Rose, Obika and Sigurdsson.

Jonathan Obika 23 seems permanently on loan, similar to Dawkins. He seems to be on our books as home grown insurance and if retained next season may well go out on loan again, after the season starts. The same could happen to Grant Hall and Ryan Mason.

Gylfi Sigurdsson 24 doesn't seem to have a role within the squad, he can't command a regular place, is nothing special but is home grown and thus commands a larger transfer fee than he otherwise would. If we include Tom Carroll in the squad then we can let a midfielder go so I'd be selling Sigurdsson for £10 million.

Danny Rose 24 at the start of next season, is a player most Spurs fans want shot of and he has again said he wants first team football. I am no fan of his by a long way but I can see him staying because of the home grown rule. At the start of the season he was playing well, he had the cover in front of him and although he is still learning positioning and game reading for a full-back he was quite solid.

Our left sided weakness is not solely down to Rose, but having someone in front of him who are not the greatest with their defensive work. Lennon and Walker work brilliantly on the right in this respect so Rose needs someone in front of him to provide what Lennon does for Walker. When he gets that we might see a more solid Rose, equally I'd be happy if he were sold and we bought a decent left-back.

Our full-backs must have pace as they are attackers in the modern game, needing the speed to recover position when the side lose the ball. This is where Rose lets himself down, he has the speed but doesn't use it to get back in the way Walker does.

17 Man Squad

We can only name 17 non home grown players in the squad so who will they be?

First you have to look at who we have as non home grown players at the club at the moment and add Lamela, Eriksen and our returning loan players.

Non Home Grown Players (max 17 over 21 years-old permitted)
1.   Hugo Lloris
2.   Brad Friedel
3.   Younes Kaboul
4.   Jan Vertonghem
5.   Vlad Chiriches
6.   Paulinho
7.   Sandro
8.   Roberto Soldado
9.   Emmanuel Adebayor
10. Lewis Holtby (Fulham loan)
11. Etienne Capoue
12. Mousa Dembele
13. Nacer Chadli
14. Erik Lamela
15. Christian Eriksen
16. Benoit Assou-Ekotto (QPR loan)
17. Bongani Khumalo (Doncaster Rovers loan)
18. Iago Falque (Rayo Vallecano loan)

Nabil Bentaleb doesn't have to be named because of his age.

Home Grown Players (min 8 required in named 25 man PL squad)
1.   Michael Dawson
2.   Kyle Walker
3.   Kyle Naughton
4.   Danny Rose
5.   Gylfi Sigurdsson
6.   Aaron Lennon
7.   Andros Townsend
8.   Tom Carroll
9.   Jake Livermore
10. Ryan Mason
11. Jonathan Obika
12. Grant Hall

Harry Kane and Zeki Fryers do not have to be named due to age.

Jake Livermore is expected to be sold and we can't keep hold of Obika, Hall and Mason forever just loaning them out each season. There is room for manoeuvre here but the top 8 are at the moment the home grown players you expect in the squad.

As I said before if we sell some of them we may have to replace them which is why we look at players like Gareth Barry on a free, James Milner or Micah Richards.

Given all that what would your transfer purchases be? You have to decide who to let go from each list. To me Khumalo and Falque are players we have bought to use the system, we can have them in the squad if we need to and loan them out after it's submitted or loan them out before if we don't need them, I see no other reason for them being at the club.

Selling home grown and buying all foreign is not an option, unless they are under 21, otherwise we wouldn't be able to name them in the squad.

Lloris, Vertonghen and perhaps a retiring Friedel would free places with the option of keeping Friedel as a player/coach to include him if necessary as third choice keeper.

I hope this hasn't been too confusing and gives you a basis to work from when determining who to sell and who to buy this coming transfer window.


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