For the past few decades, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club jave seemed caught in a cyclical pattern.
Bring along a promising player, developing them into a highly prized commodity. Fail to convince them the club can match their needs/ambition/desires/etc. Receive repeated and increasing bids for their services from those in greener pastures, eventually culminating in Spurs folding to the player’s demands to sell them on. Rinse and repeat.
All of this in spite of repetitive public declarations of the club’s desires to challenge for Champions League places and domestic glory. And it doesn’t take a genius to know that regularly selling on your best players and hoping to replace adequately them with cheaper options is a risky approach.
Notable recent examples include Gareth Bale and Luka Modrić’s protracted transfers to Real Madrid for an estimated £140 million. Before that were Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick’s sales to Manchester United. The sale of Paul Gascoigne to Lazio in 1992 and the traitorous move of Sol Campbell to Arsenal — though not a sale but a free transfer — are further examples.
Simply put, Spurs just have a hard time retaining their finest talents.
Exceptions exist, of course: think of someone like club legend Ledley King who spent his entire career with the club. But then again, you could be forgiven for wondering if he would have moved on too had his knees been more reliable.
But this is all old news, right? Why harp on about it now?
Because one of our most valuable assets is once again publicly complaining about his experience at Spurs. And as we’ve seen before, that’s usually a bad omen for their long term prospects in North London. And this time, it just so happens to be our superhero-esque Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen.