Younes Kaboul has joined Sunderland. Benjamin Stambouli is set for PSG whilst Roberto Soldado might return to La Liga (Sevilla to be exact if you believe the rumour of last week). It's been a summer of clearing out the deadwood as we seek to replace them with players that Mauricio Pochettino desires and requires, giving him a better platform to implement a identifiable style of football.
Stambouli especially is testament to how poorly thought out our transfer policy can be. He was signed then sparingly used. Not even to give the likes of Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb a rest. Benji was always on the outside looking in through the window but never sat comfortably on the sofa.
Our lack of rotation burnt us out towards the back end of the season. The likes of Etienne Capoue was left on the sidelines. He's gone (to Watford) and supposedly the reasons for his lack of first team activity was because of his attitude. I'd have an attitude if I was completely ignored. Stambouli isn't a bad player. We can hardly call him that when he's never had a prolonged opportunity to settle. Same with Capoue. Both are more than capable. Perhaps just squad players which might deem them not good enough in the long run. Maybe they're meant to be first teamers (Capoue was part of the Magnificent Seven) and they've turned out to be mistakes. Roberto Soldado, the golden boy of this particular juxtaposition.
As for Kaboul. He was at times immense for us. Injuries ruined him. His captaincy hardly enriching.
I'm hoping the era of errors is behind us and we now look towards signing players that have a functional role in the team and compliment their team mates and the tactics. Sure, functional sounds boring. Doesn't mean we can't sign a functional flair player. We're still allowed to get excited and if Daniel Levy still has one eye on the future potential sell-on value of players at least now it's a far less obvious and more subtle approach.
With Soldado, he had a superb record in Spain, yet did we as a club truly appreciate how he would suit our football? We stuck him upfront with two wingers that constantly cut in and left him isolated, confidence shot to pieces. The tragic truth is, his second season was as hollow as his first. He might not have been broken to start with but we've managed to snap him into two pieces. He's never shown the strength to make it work for himself. Sometimes you just don't fit in.
Maybe it's simply the law of averages. You buy players that turn out good, you buy some that turn out bad. We'll have to wait to see how things play out for us but I'm preferring this understated approach. Then again, I do find it frustrating that we can't pluck another Luka Modric or Dimi Berbatov from the continent like we did all those years ago. A player that is just under the radar of the Champions League sides and affordable without being a fully fledged marquee signing. Moneys tight and we're probably scared we'll end up with another Rebrov or a Postiga.