Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who Might Leave the Lane this Summer?

With the 3 points from Hull secure now, I feel a little better about us remaining in the Premier League for next year. Tomorrow I'll begin my preview of the 2nd leg very Shakhtar and the Carling Cup Final, but I am curious about who might leave the Lane this summer, and who we might see come in to replace them. First the departures.

I would be very surprised if Gomes is with the side next year. He has never settled and his confidence has been shot I believe, and the rumors were that he almost left during the January window should only fuel speculation that he will be plying his trade somewhere next season.

Gareth Bale arrived at the club with a wave of anticipation, after a bidding war with Manchester United for his services no less. But he has never shown it on the pitch for us. We know of his record of never having been on the pitch for a winning side in the Premier League, but he hasn't been on the winning side too often in other competitions as well. His defending is sub par for the Premier League, which is not very good for a left back. His ventures forward have been tentative most of the time, and we've never seen his free kick ability like he showed for Southampton. His confidence has been damaged with him being left on the bench since Harry came in, and not even making the bench last night versus Hull. He still has admirers, and a change of scenery might do him good, since Harry doesn't rate him.

Gilberto will leave if we can find a taker for him. No more needs to be said on the subject.

Giovanni Dos Santos had his foot out the door during the window, but failed his medical with Pompey. The lad is young, and came to the club to play with Ramos clearly, and would be happy with a change. The injury he picked up never allowed him to show his best form for the club, and he is too far out of the picture to feature for Harry now. A move back to Spain would be the most likely destination for the Mexican international.

Kevin Prince-Boateng is on loan, and a permanent deal seems to be 99% certain. He never had too much of a chance to impress for the club, I have to say he makes a good substitute on my FIFA 09 game on PS3 for the club, but he is happier back in Germany, let's hope we recoup our investment in him.

Frazier Campbell will go back to Manchester United and be loaned out again somewhere else, I don't think Harry will splash big cash on him from what we have seen so far.

Darren Bent put out a decent effort last night, it was his first start in awhile, but he is not going to be with the club next year. His yapping to the press last week about what a good striker he was certainly did not sit well with Harry, and perhaps led to him being on the bench last Thursday. Clubs like Everton, Newcastle and Bolton will surely be interested, and though I know we won't make our investment back on him, we could get a good 8-10 million quid for him and cut our losses.

This next couple of players in my view could possibly leave the club, the players I've mentioned before are more likely to leave than not, but the players to come are 50/50 to leave for me.

Jermaine Jenas has always been a favorite of mine, I know I will take some stick for that, but I think he is a very good player on his day. With the glut of players that we have in central midfield, and all of the rumors that were attached to him in the January window, I think he could be a player who leave in the summer. Inter were interested, and someone like Mourinho could get a lot out of the lad. I think he should remain a Spurs player and use this summer to rededicate himself to the game and come back stronger next year.

Tom Huddlestone is a confounding player for me. I love him one minute, and want to crucify him the next. He is a gifted footballer, but he has not been on form all season for the club. He can be a great passer, and has scored some great goals, but his defense this season has been sorely lacking, and he seems unhappy with his place in the squad, but hasn't worked to change it. Granted it is difficult to change things too much in the season, but he needs to work on his fitness and tackling in the summer if he wants to remain a Spurs player. It would not shock me to see him sold or for him to remain at the club, but his position bears watching during the summer transfer window.

Now for possible arrivals to the Lane next year.

We need a long-term answer at goalkeeper, I think we all know that. Joe Hart from Manchester City has been mentioned as a possibility, I'm not sure he's the answer though. The matches that I have watched with him this season have not impressed me, and yes he is young but I don't think he would be right for us. A player like Ben Foster at Manchester United would be a great replacement, but I don't see Sir Alex letting him go with Van der Sar almost done with his career. A name that I would keep in the back in mind would be Scott Carson, the West Brom keeper. A nomad to say the least, he is extremely talented, a full England international and only 23 years of age. If West Brom are relegated, and that looks more and more likely every week, a 6 million pound bid for him would probably be accepted by the club and he could continue his Premier League career. That would be my surprise pick to man the nets for Spurs.

We also are in dire need of a left back, Assou-Ekotto has shown much better form over the past couple of weeks, but I don't think he is the answer at left back, and I think Bale is leaving the club in the summer, so the question is who will fill that role next year for the club? Nicky Shorey was mentioned in the transfer window, but he has looked overmatched in the League this year. He did well with Reading, and if recovered that form would be fine, but who knows if that will happen? Leighton Baines from Everton has also been mentioned, but I doubt Everton will let him go. I think someone from overseas might be an option, Harry might also look to the Championship, though I am a little bit leery of that. Speaking as an American, I have always been fond of Jonathon Spector, who had some time at Manchester United and did well there, but has found his options limited at West Ham. A flyer on a player like him might be good for the club.

How long have we needed a left-winger? Jamie O'Hara is gritty, but not really the answer out wide for the club. Lennon has done well on the left when Bentley was on the right, though Bentley has not done anything on the left. Stephen Hunt from Reading was mentioned several times during the window, and we still might make a run at him. Ryan Babel at Liverpool would also be an option since he has found first-team opportunities limited at Anfield. A dream would be Niko Krancjar, and he believes he will be sold this summer, but mentioned this morning that he wants to play for a Champions League club, so I doubt we will get him, though he would be a perfect option out wide on the left. If Boro are relegated they may finally grant Stewart Downing his request for a transfer, but I'm wondering if the club has moved on from him by now. This is the position that some creativity would be good in, finding a player in Spain or Portugal might be good for us.

If we see a striker come in, it will be a squad player, not a player competing for a starting spot week in and week out. A player like Roman Bednar at West Brom, or Kevin Doyle from Reading would be good options. I don't care to see Fred come into the side, but we still might see him.

Those are just some of my thoughts on the squad's comings and goings this summer. Tell me what you think, who should we get rid of, and who should we buy to move closer to the Top 4?

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