Spurs Fan look at Harry's transfer record
Canny read even if it is around 12 month old. All still rings true.
In a recent article, OxfordSpur asked our readers who they would pick as the first name on the team sheet. One fact stood out: none of the contenders were signed by Harry Redknapp.
At one time, Wilson Palacios would have been many fans' first choice but since picking up a booking in extra time in last season's semi-final against Portsmouth his stock has diminished. That booking led to a suspension which forced Redknapp into experimenting with what has since transpired to be a hugely successful partnership of Modric with Huddlestone in central midfield. Palacios has hardly had a look in since, and has even been rumoured to be available for transfer.
Despite spending a small fortune on players since arriving from Portsmouth nearly two years ago, most of our current best players were already playing for Spurs when Redknapp arrived: Gomes, King, Dawson, Bale, Modric, Huddlestone, Lennon. Redknapp's signings played important roles in helping to rescue us from relegation in 2008-2009 and then breaking the Top Four hegemony last season, but none have been outstanding, none are anyone's first pick, and none (apart from Kranjcar, who was bought on the cheap with his contract about the expire at Portsmouth) could be sold for more than they were bought for.
Although Redknapp has spent nearly £40 million on strikers, most fans recognise that this is now our main area of weakness if we are to retain our position as a Top Four club amid the obscene profligacy of morally bankrupt billionaire owners. Redknapp has always fancied himself as a canny wheeler-dealer in the transfer market, but his ability to sign discarded stars for lesser clubs battling against relegation was often only made possible only by the promise of wages that the clubs couldn't really afford.
To operate successfully at Tottenham requires a different approach, although his penchant for signing senior players on high wages with no resale value is evinced by his recent courtship of Joe Cole, Gallas, Bellamy and Parker. Thankfully, David James never arrived. Whilst Redknapp undoubtedly deserves great credit for getting the most out of the players at his disposal, to date his record in the transfer market has been less impressive.
The jury is still out on whether he can trade successfully at this level. Whether or not he can attract at least one top class striker to White Hart Lane this season could well prove decisive in determining his legacy. It is interesting to note that of Redknapp's probable current first choice 11 of Gomes, Corluka, King, Dawson, BAE, Bale, Modric, Huddlestone, Lennon, Pavlyuchenko and Defoe, only one was signed by Redknapp himself - and even he was originally signed by David Pleat. The rest were signed by Frank Arnesen and Damien Comolli. Director of Football, anyone?
Redknapp's signing: Crouch £9m Niko Kranjčar £2.5m Defoe £15m (originally signed by David Pleat in 2004 for £9.5m) Palacios £14m Keane £12m Bassong £8m Walker & Naughton £6 Younes Kaboul £5m Other current players: Gomes £8m (Comolli) King - youth player Dawson £3m (Arnesen) Woodgate £7m (Comolli) Bale £9m (Comolli) Hutton £9 (Comolli) Corluka £7m (Comolli) Assou-Ekotto £3.5 (Comolli) Modric £16m (Comolli) Huddlestone £2m (Arnesen) Lennon £1 (Arnesen) Bentley £15 (Comolli) Jenas £9m (Arnesen) Danny Rose £1 (Comolli) Dos Santos £5m (Comolli) Pavlyuchenko £13m (Comolli). We can debate the exact price of the individual players, but the point is that Harry may still have it all to prove in the transfer market.