Inside Lane: A Spurs fan reflects on Tottenham’s January transfer window
12:33 04 February 2015
Tottenham blogger Chris Miller feels the moves that Spurs have sanctioned will only weaken the club’s Under-21 side, and are likely to have long-term benefits.
Spurs end the transfer window with one new player available to them, and with nine no longer in contention, eight having left on loan and one permanently.
On the surface that sounds rather concerning - like the club has left itself drastically short. In truth, only Aaron Lennon, Kyle Naughton and possibly Milos Veljkovic would have made appearances for the first team, and the loan moves are all likely to be of long-term benefit to Spurs.
DeAndre Yedlin signed for Spurs on August 13 2014 but it was announced just before Christmas that he would, in fact, join earlier than expected, and he is now at the club. In all likelihood his appearances will be for the Under-21 side as he is given time to adapt to life in England.
As well as Yedlin, Spurs have signed Bamidele ‘Dele’ Alli, an 18-year old central midfielder from Milton Keynes Dons.
Alli is an England Under-19 regular who will know Harry Winks from that group. Alli normally starts for England (with Winks on the bench), but Alli is more similar in style to Josh Onomah (who is a year younger).
He is a box-to-box midfielder, who has a rangy style; his tally of 12 goals and three assists from 27 appearances confirms that he is incredibly productive in League One.
Alli has re-joined Milton Keynes Dons on loan for the remainder of the season, and we have also sent out a number of other young professionals to gain experience:
Grant Hall (23) - Blackpool (Championship)
Milos Veljkovic (19) - Charlton (Championship)
Jordan Archer (21) - Millwall (Championship)
Kenny McEvoy (20) - Colchester United (League One)
Dominic Ball (19) - Cambridge United (League Two)
Nathan Oduwa (18) - Luton Town (League Two)
Emmanuel Sonupe (18) - St Mirren (Scottish Premiership)
We now have 15 players out on loan in total, including Lennon (Everton) and Lewis Holtby (Hamburg), both of whom are likely to leave permanently at the end of the season.
Ball, Oduwa and Sonupe are making their first loan moves, and will be hoping that the experience leaves them stronger, more consistent, and ready to push on next year.
These moves will leave our Under-21 side severely weakened, with a number of key players at that level now temporarily away from the club. This is particularly noteworthy given that Manchester United yesterday signed Bolton Wanderers’ reserve full-back Andy Kellett on loan purely to play in their Under-21 side.
This is not something that I have been aware of happening before but it makes a lot of sense if an Under-21 team is missing one part of the jigsaw.
If coaches do not feel that a younger player is ready to step up and/or do not want another player playing out of position, the concept of balancing the side with a cheap loan might become something we see happening more regularly.
Having sent so many young professionals out on loan, Spurs will now dip further into the Under-18s to fill the gaps in the Under-21 side, which will present more opportunities for the likes of Kyle Walker-Peters, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Anthony Georgiou - all 17 - who have already had some playing time in the older age group.
As well as loaning Lennon to Everton, Spurs were close to parting with Emmanuel Adebayor, Younes Kaboul and Etienne Capoue on deadline day.
It has been clear for some time which players Mauricio Pochettino does and does not trust in the squad, and summer exits for all three feel inevitable.
Of course, Spurs also released Benoît Assou-Ekotto from his contract. In doing so, and in loaning Lennon out, the club have potentially saved close to a million pounds on wages over the next four months, and will probably have also received a loan fee for Lennon.
This money will doubtless be put to good use in the summer, when head of recruitment and analysis Paul Mitchell, along with Rob Mackenzie - who joined this week, having held the post of head of technical scouting at Leicester City - will have had time to better assess potential targets and make more informed decisions about who to bring in.
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