Tottenham failed to sign a single player during the 2018 summer transfer window – but the North Londoners know as well as anyone that lots of new faces isn’t always a good thing.
Spurs became the first Premer League team in history not to make a single off-season signing since the transfer window was introduced in 2003, but unlike in previous yeas they also managed to keep hold of all their star players – and manager Mauricio Pochettino.
We’ve looked back at what Spurs have done in every summer transfer window since 2007 to see how their business worked out for them the following season.
Looking back, Martin Jol pulled it out of the bag with his signings in 2007, bringing in Gareth Bale for an initial £5million from Southampton, and Danny Rose for just £1million from Leeds United.
As well as their future stars, Spurs splashed a then-club record fee of £16.5 million on Darren Bent, who it’s fair to say isn’t remembered quite as fondly as Bale, though he did score 17 goals in his second season at White Hart Lane.
Spurs also signed £8million Younes Kaboul from Auxerre, but Harry Redknapp signed him for Portsmouth just a year later before later re-signing him for the Lilywhites after taking over as manager.
Kevin Prince-Boateng also arrived from Hertha Berlin for a fee reported to be around £5million, but he failed to establish himself and was loaned to Borussia Dortmund a year later before leaving permanently for Pompey in 2009.
Adel Taarabt, meanwhile, signed permanently after spending the second half of the previous season on loan, but he too failed to settle and left in 2009 having made just 16 appearances for the club.
In terms of outgoings, Mido left for Middlesbrough for £6million, and Reto Ziegler joined Sampdoria permanently after a loan, but Spurs didn’t lose any of their star men.
It didn’t help Jol, however, as the club’s worst start to a season in 19 years led to his sacking in October. They eventually finished 11th under new manager Juande Ramos but did win the League Cup, which is the last piece of silverware they lifted.
It’s fair to say Spurs had mixed success with their 2008 summer signings.
Luka Modric, the most expensive of the lot at £16million, proved to be worth every penny, while Heurelho Gomes was popular if inconsistent, but the combined £29million spent on David Bentley and Roman Pavlyuchenko did not work out quite so well.
Pavlyuchenko was not a total disaster but ultimately scored only 10 Premier League goals across his first two seasons at White Hart Lane before doubling that tally in a more successful third campaign.
Bentley, meanwhile, does at least have that wonderful volley in the 4-4 draw against Arsenal to look back on, but his highlights were so few and far between that after being released by Spurs in 2013, he retired a year later aged just 29 after failing to find a club willing to take a chance on him.
Spurs made eight first-team signings in total, but Vedran Ćorluka was the only one of the others who achieved anything of note, making more than 100 appearances in three in a bit years at the club.
Giovani dos Santos and John Bostock didn’t quite live up to the hype that surrounded them as youngsters, the latter failing to make a single Premier League appearance for the Lilywhites.
Once again, what looked like a good summer at the time failed to pay off as Spurs made an even worse start than in the previous season, taking just two points from their opening eight games under Ramos, who was replaced by Redknapp in October.
Ramos could point to the sales of Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane as mitigation, but the team dramatically improved under Redknapp, eventually finishing eighth.
Spurs signed full-backs Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton from Sheffield United for a combined fee of £9million, and though Naughton failed to ever truly establish himself at White Hart Lane, Walker and his £50million sale to Manchester City in 2017 more than made up for it.
Peter Crouch rejoined the club where he had started his career in a £10million transfer from Portsmouth and went on to score the goal which earned Spurs their first ever shot at the Champions League, while Niko Kranjcar and Sebastian Bassong turned out to be useful if not spectacular signings from Portsmouth and Newcastle United respectively.
Crucially, Redknapp managed to raise funds without losing any star players, allowing the likes of Bent, Boateng and Didier Zokora to move on without weakening the team.
Crouch’s goal in a 1-0 win at Manchester City in May saw Spurs finish fourth, which was at the time their best ever Premier League finish.
Say what you want about Redknapp, but he could certainly spot a player.
His big signing in 2010, on deadline day, was Rafael van der Vaart after a move to Bayern Munich fell through. He top scored in his first season at the club, forming an effective partnership with Crouch, and undoubtedly goes down as a success despite lasting a little over two years in north London.
William Gallas crossed the divide to sign on a free from Arsenal and was a huge success in his first season before injuries began to take their tole, while £6million Sandro will also largely be remembered fondly despite an inconsistent four years at the club.
Bongani Khumalo failed to make a single appearance but we can safely say was not a Redknapp signing.
Taarabt was sold to QPR where he won hearts aplenty, and in his absence Spurs enjoyed a great run in the Champions League, making the quarter-finals after memorable wins over Inter in the group stage and then at Milan in the last 16. In the league they finished fifth.
Scott Parker headed up the signings in the summer of 2011, joining from West Ham United for a fee of £5.5million and winning the club’s Player of the Year award in his debut season.
Former Arsenal man Emmanuel Adebayor also signed, on loan from Manchester City, and enjoyed an equally successful season, netting 18 goals in 37 appearances as Spurs again finished fourth to secure a return to the Champions League.
Brad Friedel completed a trio of hugely successful signing as Redknapp’s midas touch continued, but equally as impressive was Daniel Levy’s work in recouping the best part of £30million from Peter Crouch, Wilson Palacios, Robbie Keane, Jamie O’Hara and Alan Hutton, none of whom were wanted.
Spurs again finished the season in fourth but failed to qualify for the Champions League courtesy of Chelsea winning the competition.
Redknapp left and was replaced by Andre Villas-Boas, who looking back made some wonderful signings.
Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele were the pick of the bunch, more than justifying a near-£40million outlay, while Clint Dempsey and Gylfi Sigurdsson both provided more good moments than bad.
Lewis Holtby and Zeki Fryers made rather less impact, but the big disappointment of the summer of 2012 was the departure of Modric to Real Madrid.
Van der Vaart, Corluka, Bassong, Dos Santos and Steven Pienaar were among the other departees as Levy continued his knack of getting decent money for unwanted players.
Spurs again finished fifth after the overhaul, in no small part thanks to the brilliance of Bale.
Garth Crooks declared that Spurs had sold Elvis and bought the Beatles, but George Harrison and Ringo Star might have something to say about that.
With Real Madrid paying a world-record £85.1million for Bale, Spurs tried to use the money to strengthen in several areas, but while Christian Eriksen goes down as a great success and Erik Lamela as a reasonable one, the club’s other five signings that summer didn’t exactly work out.
Roberto Soldado joined for a then-club-record fee of £26million and scored just six Premier League goals – only two of which came from open play – in his debut season before scoring only one in 21 games the following campaign.
Paulinho joined for £17million and was generally rubbish, heading for China two years later before unbelievably pitching up in Barcelona, while £9million Étienne Capoue made even less of an impact and was also moved on after two years – to Watford.
Nacer Chadli lasted an extra 12 months and was a decent buy for £7million, but Vlad Chirches made only 25 appearances across, you guessed it, two seasons before being sold to Napoli for a loss.
As well as Bale, Spurs sold Clint Dempsey, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker and Steven Caulker, while Gallas and Bentley were released.
Villas-Boas was sacked in December after a 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool, but Spurs eventually finished sixth under Tim Sherwood, which in retrospect, considering all of the above, wasn’t actually too bad.
Sherwood was replaced in the summer of 2014 by Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino, who didn’t make a great deal of changes to his frontline squad.
However, Eric Dier for £4million from Sporting CP proved to be an excellent signing, while Ben Davies signed from Swansea City and has also proven his worth over time.
Michel Vorm also joined from the Swans as part of the deal which saw Gylfi Sigurdsson head in the opposite direction, while Federico Fazio, Benjamin Stambouli and DeAndre Yedlin were signed for a combined £15.7million in what can best be described as a mixed window.
Sandro, Jake Livermore and Michael Dawson were among several players sold or released as Pochettino trimmed numbers, and Spurs eventually finished in fifth place, six points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, meaning they had to settle for another season in the Europa League.
Heung Min-Son was the marquee signing of 2015, joining from Bayer Leverkusen for a fee of £22million, and after a steady if unspectacular first season, he has established himself as one of Spurs’ best – and most popular – players.
Also joining that summer were Toby Alderwiereld from Atletico Madrid, Clinton N’Jie from Lyon, Kevin Wimmer from Cologne and Kieran Trippier from Burnley. That represents a 50% success rate – and Levy managed to make a huge profit when offloading to Wimmer to Stoke despite him hardly featuring.
Heading out of Spurs were Paulinho, Soldado, Capoue, Stambouli, Chiriches, Kaboul, Holtby and Aaron Lennon as Pochettino continued to rid the squad of fringe players.
And it paid off as Spurs improved to finish third.
No matter how much Spurs grow as a club, they seem destined to continue signing the odd flop.
Victor Wanyama join from Southampton for £11million this summer and has proven an excellent acquisition, but the biggest signing of the window was Moussa Sissoko, who joined from Newcastle United for £30 million and has failed to convince to quite the same extent.
Vincent Jansson and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou, meanwhile, came in from AZ Alkmaar and Marseille respectively and also failed to make an impression.
Ryan Mason and Nacer Chadli headed the list of outgoings, with Yedlin and Alex Pritchard also sold for decent fees.
Once again, Spurs improved to finish second, seven points behind title winners Chelsea.
Davinson Sanchez was the marquee signing of the summer for Spurs, joining from Ajax for £42million, and his first season went so well that he signed an improved contract just 12 months later.
The club also brought in Serge Aurier from PSG as a replacement for Kyle Walker, who joined Manchester City, but the form of Trippier restricted the £23million signing to only 17 Premier League appearances in his first season.
Fernando Llorente was signed from Swansea City as back up for Kane, with young defender Juan Foyth signing from Estundiantes.
Along with Walker, Wimmer was sold to Stoke for an incredible £18mllion, while N’Jie was also moved on after just two seasons. Nabil Bentaleb and and Fazio completed the outgoings, while Vincent Jansson joined Fenerbache on loan.
On the pitch, Spurs enjoyed another good season, finishing third.
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