Tottenham’s best transfer window

Argentine footballer Erik Lamela

As we told you here first, Tottenham have long since accepted that Welsh wizard Gareth Bale has played his last game for the club.

The deal to sell him to Real Madrid is all but complete. Now they're just trying to spend the money before the transfer window slams shut on Sept 2.

Almost £60m (S$120m)  has already been spent on Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, Roberto Soldado and Etienne Capoue. Another £60m is about to go on Willian and Erik Lamela. Tottenham aren't messing around this summer.

With a decisiveness that will be envied in other parts of North London, they're building a team more than capable of challenging for a Champions League place, and perhaps of doing even more than that.

It had been hoped that Bale could be convinced to stay and, given that he had never publicly agitated for a move before, it seemed plausible that he could be talked out of the move.

But Bale's heart is set on this transfer and he has no intention of staying. As soon as that became clear, Tottenham made up their mind to make the best of the situation.

This was political expediency of the most emphatic kind.

There are still those who believe that directors of football are unnecessary additions to the power structure, but this episode has surely proved their value to all but the most stubborn critic.

While Andre Villas-Boas has been allowed to focus on the first team, Franco Baldini has moved quickly to reinforce the club, using contacts built over a distinguished career and an eye for a player that is of the highest quality.

Tottenham have dealt with their business without ever allowing themselves to be ruffled. The modern game is simply too big and too complicated for one man to manage in the old-fashioned style.

What is even more impressive is that this rebuilding project won't actually hit Tottenham in the pocket with too much force.

Bale's departure will free up a large chunk of the wage bill and will bring in the majority of the transfer fee outlay.

The new TV deal will make up the difference. The remaining wages have been freed up by the departure of high earners like David Bentley, Clint Dempsey, Tom Huddlestone and Scott Parker.

High quality

The players are of high quality, the books are balanced, the supporters are reassured and the team are ready for a charge on the top four.

Chairman Daniel Levy messed up in January when his failure to recruit another centre forward almost certainly cost the club Champions League football, but this summer he's played a blinder.

It has been suggested that Tottenham can now make a challenge for the title, but that might be going a little too far. Spurs finished 17 points behind Manchester United last season and, as good as these signings are, they won't reach the summit of English football that quickly.

Chelsea, Manchester City and United are all experienced title contenders, their players have top drawers filled with assorted medals. They won't be removed from contention easily and they will still be the favourites to finish in the top three.

But, assuming that there is no similarlyminded reconstruction at Arsenal this summer, you can definitely make Spurs the favourites for fourth place.

In fact, looking at the respective squads, you could even say that another fifth-place finish for Tottenham this year would be a borderline sackable offence.

On the pitch, Villas-Boas' men now have a chance to break into the big time and stay there.

Off it, they've had arguably the best summer transfer window of any of their rivals.

And who would have thought we'd be saying that when Bale first decided to leave?

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