There is more than one way to skin [spend money in] a cat [transfer market].
Exhibit A: Fulham and Spurs’ differing approaches to spending ahead of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign.
Slavisa Jokanovic added 12 new players to his squad after guiding Fulham to promotion through the Championship play-offs.
That list of new arrivals includes the ‘new Xavi’, a World Cup winner and a Spain international goalkeeper who won consecutive Europa League trophies.
It was the signing of Jean Michael Seri from Nice, the summer after a move to Barcelona collapsed at the last minute, that gained worldwide attention.
Fulham held on to Ryan Sessegnon, tied captain Tom Cairney down to a new contract and got Aleksandar Mitrovic’s permanent return to Craven Cottage over the line, all while only losing Ryan Fredricks.
Five signings on deadline day left no one in any doubt as to the Cottagers’ intentions ahead of a return to the Premier League after four seasons in the quicksand of the Championship.
Over to north London.
Spurs sold no one of note and didn’t get the chequebook out once.
Whether due to Daniel Levy’s notoriously ruthless bartering skills or Mauricio Pochettino’s preference to work with the squad he’s already got, Spurs didn’t sign diddly squat.
The media team were let out of their dungeon after a long, boring summer of doing absolutely nothing in terms of announcement videos, although Dele Alli ensured Spurs went viral with his celebration against Newcastle.
Chalk and cottage cheese from Spurs and Fulham.
While Fulham were lauded as having the best window of all the clubs in the Premier League, Spurs were derided by their own fans and rival supporters alike.
But is Spurs’ decision to go without new signings, whether forced or by choice, such a bad thing?
In an age of gargantuan agent demands and hyper-inflated transfer fees, not to mention a new stadium to pay for, it might not be the worst move.
Spurs were always going to struggle to bring players in given the strength of their starting XI.
Which striker is going to want to sign for Spurs knowing they’ll be sitting on the bench all season waiting for Harry Kane to get injured?
How many players could realistically improve Spurs’ starting XI, be affordable and willing to move to a club who have never won the Premier League?
In Mauricio Pochettino Spurs have a specialist at improving players.
A fit Harry Winks will be like a new signing, while Kyle Walker-Peters’ pre-season form suggests he’ll be putting pressure on Kieran Trippier.
Both players have blossomed due to Pochettino’s faith in giving youngsters a chance.
That’s something money can’t buy.
While Fulham’s approach to the transfer market was bold and rightfully applauded, there is something equally noble about Spurs sticking with what they’ve got.
SOMETHING ELSE TO SPICE UP YOUR LIFE?
- Do Man City have the most complete squad in Europe?
- Remembering Zinedine Zidane’s stunning international debut for France
- Wayne Rooney vs Andres Iniesta: Which legend is taking the p*** the most?