January is only four days old and Tottenham have already signed two players. I'm half expecting this to be an inception. Is the spinning top still spinning? No? I'm actually awake? Yes, I'm awake. I know I'm awake because we've not yet signed a world class striker or a play-making midfielder. Or a right-winger. Proper dream within a dream within a dream stuff. That's not to say I won't be sleeping like a baby this evening.
Levy-economics kick-starting what will hopefully be a productive January window. Although based on the announcements of Zeki Fryers and Lewis Holtby, we are future-proofing rather than present day consolidating.
Fryers is a young lad that we attempted to sign during the summer (after he spent some time with us on trial) before the compensation package to Manchester United looked set for a tribunal. Next thing, he's off to Standard Liege with plenty of beard-scratching and knowing looks. The conspiracy theorists suggesting that this was simply a way of avoiding a hefty fee and paying United. The beards don't lie and Fryers signs up six months later joining our development squad. Someone done us a faaaaaavoooooour.
Love this from Alex Ferguson today:
"We knew immediately and suspected that he would return to Tottenham in January and that's happened. It's a [Spurs chairman] Daniel Levy deal. You know, it's his fingerprints all over it. It's the kind of thing we expected he was going to do."
You really surprised Fergie? It's Levy. It's money. It's business. He eats other chairman sprinkled on his morning corn flakes. Fergie should hang around airports more often with a cab waiting if he wants to best others when it comes to transfer dealings. Doesn't want the kid, doesn't rate the kid, but wants X amount for him that we're not willing to pay. No, it's okay, we'll use the loophole thank you very much. But then again, I keep forgetting. That big fat rule for them is something we're never meant to take advantage of. I know there are parallels of hypocrisy in football (we complain when some of our players are touted to other clubs, tapped up, but have no issue when we look to pluck a gem from a lower league side) but in this case...there is nothing to see.
Player leaves Utd, joins another club. Spurs sign him from other club. Of course its above board. It's just above board and not in your favour. Also, Levy has a free pass. Berbatov not forgotten, but equally also, the attempts to sign Modric.
I've not see Fryers play so all I can offer is what Manchester United supporters have shared (these being Utd fans that follow their youth academy games and have witnessed the players progress before his departure). He's a good lad (whatever that means), a decent player but nothing special. In other words, no way of truly knowing until we see him play in Lilywhite.
Interestingly, plenty of debate about the left-back position and the fact we need cover. Unclear if Danny Rose will come back and be part of the squad (hard to really know even if AVB says he wont be sold). I guess we need options for the future and now we have some.
Lewis Holtby will be a first team squad regular from the start. The start being the summer (July) and next season. Signed on a pre-contract from Schalke, the German U-21 captain has agreed to play for the Spurs. Quality little player an apt describition. I've seen pockets of play he's offered in the Champions League and in the Bundesliga. Hardly the finished article but one with bags of delicious potential that hopefully we'll be feasting on in the coming years.
He's creative, plays with pace and might just be one for that fabled classic number 10 role. Can play wide (not his strength) and will offer us some of that craft and guile we've lacked since the departures of Luka and Rafa. Again, one for the future but one that will have a far more prominent impact when he arrives. No development squad for Lewis.
The big shout out here is that Levy has signed him on a free (Holtby having rejected a contract with his current club). Free. He's free. Win win for Daniel. That ye olde buy young sell at profit philosophy still has life in it. Another decent shout might be the suggestion that this is a player that Villas-Boas scouted/wanted. Another line to the narrative might be that Steffen Freund had influence considering his not to be scoffed up coaching at German youth levels.
Is there a further suggestion concerning how this might effect other potential desires for an immediate playmaker/number 10 type of player to push us for that 3rd spot (mug off 4th) or higher? I don't know. I guess this would be a good time to fall back to sleep and start dreaming again...