Hit or Miss: Tottenham Hotspur’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ Rated as Erik Lamela Departs Club

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Erik Lamela’s switch from Tottenham Hotspur to Sevilla marks the end of an era for the north London club – the conclusion of the ‘Magnificent Seven’. Lamela’s move to La Liga as part of a €25 million deal for young winger Bryan Gil spells the departure of the final of the seven players Spurs acquired in 2013, following Gareth Bale’s then world-record £85 million move to Real Madrid.

Tottenham wasted little time pulling out the chequebook, going on a whopping £109 million spending spree to fill the void left in Bale’s wake. At the time, it seemed as though Spurs were keen on adding quality all around the squad. Most of the signings, though, failed to live up to any reasonable expectations.

With Lamela’s exit ending the members’ eight-year Spurs affiliation, here’s a look at how the infamous septet fared.

Hit or Miss: Rating Tottenham Hotspur’s ‘Magnificent Seven’

Paulinho (£17 Million From Corinthians)

Paulinho was the first of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ to arrive at Tottenham following an impressive Confederations Cup campaign for Brazil. Dubbed ‘The Brazilian Frank Lampard’, it was no surprise to see Spurs fans excited at the prospect of the midfielder taking the Premier League by storm.

Life in England started well for Paulinho, netting three times in his first eight games, including a late flicked winner at Cardiff City to send the travelling fans into raptures.

But that was the best it got for the midfielder, who was sent off in Spurs’ embarrassing 5-0 drubbing at home to Liverpool which saw manager Andre Villas-Boas sacked.

And arguably the moment that highlighted Paulinho’s time in North London, an attempt with the outside of his boot against Burnley, which ended up approximately 56 miles away from its destination.

Spurs eventually decided to cut their losses on the Brazilian in June 2015, agreeing a £9.9 million fee with Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande

Verdict: Miss

Nacer Chadli (£7 Million From FC Twente)

The cheapest of the seven signings, Chadli quietly evolved as a successful acquisition. The Belgian winger first came across the eyes of Spurs fans during the club’s memorable Champions League campaign in 2010/11, when he scored for Twente in both the home and away fixtures.

Chadli arrived in North London with relatively little fanfare due to his modest price tag, but blossomed in his second season under new manager Mauricio Pochettino, scoring on 13 occasions.

However, the following season saw Chadli achieve less success in front of goal, notching just three goals in the Premier League during Spurs’ title charge.

Chadli would go on to make 119 appearances across three seasons for Spurs, before signing for West Bromwich Albion in August 2016 for almost double the fee he initially arrived in England for.

Verdict: Hit

Roberto Soldado (£26 Million From Valencia)

Arguably the most exciting of the ‘Magnificent Seven’, extremely high hopes were held for Soldado at Tottenham, who arrived fresh off a stellar 24-goal La Liga campaign.

Soldado had a positive start to life in the Premier League, dispatching a penalty on his Spurs debut and a further three goals in his next two games. That proved to be the only flurry of goals during that season for the Spaniard, as he only managed to net two more before its climax. The next season proved to be even worse for Soldado, who only managed a solitary goal in 24 league appearances.

The Spaniard was never shy of working hard for his team, which much of the Spurs faithful appreciated. But that was not enough for a supposed prolific striker with an excellent goal record before his arrival.

Soldado’s failure to live up to expectations in front of goal proved to be the death of his Spurs career, as he was sold to Villarreal for £10 million after just two seasons.

But if there was one silver lining, Soldado can take credit for paving the way for the emergence of a certain Harry Kane.

Verdict: Miss

Etienne Capoue (£9.3 Million From Toulouse)

Capoue was the first of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ to ditch Tottenham, so he was probably the most forgettable member. Though, many feel the Frenchman didn’t get a proper crack at cementing a position in Spurs’ midfield.

The combative midfielder suffered an injury-ravaged Spurs career and didn’t appear to be in the future plans of temporary manager Tim Sherwood and then Pochettino.

Capoue never really recovered from his layoffs and left after just two seasons, making the short journey to Watford in a deal worth around £6 million.

Verdict: Miss

Vlad Chiriches (£8.5 Million From Steaua Bucharest)

Probably the most obscure of the seven, Spurs’ £8.5 million signing of Chiriches was a record fee for a Romanian player. A defender confident on the ball and playing out the back, many thought Chiriches would offer something different at Spurs.

While his confidence could be admired, his laid-back nature often led to costly errors and gifted forwards too many sights of goal.

Chiriches did highlight his talent at points, scoring a beautiful daisy-cutter on the half-volley against Fulham. But that was just about it for his Spurs career, as he left North London with just 27 league appearances in two seasons, moving to Serie A giants Napoli.

Verdict: Miss

Christian Eriksen (£11 Million From Ajax)

Comfortably the most successful signing of the ‘Magnificent Seven’, Eriksen established himself at Tottenham as one of the best attacking midfielders in the world. The Danish captain was a constant figure in the Tottenham line-up for over six years, before departing for a fresh challenge with Inter Milan in January 2020.

Eriksen became a dependable player during Pochettino’s tenure and would regularly feature in every minute of every game, so much so that he would consistently cover more ground than any other Spurs player.

The Dane registered 305 appearances for Spurs, scoring 69 goals and notching 90 assists in a productive career in North London. Eriksen would appear at the heart of almost every Tottenham attack, providing world-class creative service to the likes of Kane, Son Heung-Min and Dele Alli.

However, it ultimately reached a point where Eriksen wanted something new having failed to win silverware with Spurs and joined Inter for £16.9 million, where he since won the famous Scudetto.

The eyes of the world all turned onto Eriksen when he collapsed in Denmark’s Euro 2020 opener against Finland and had to be given lifesaving treatment on the field. The 29-year-old was taken to a hospital in Copenhagen, where he required an operation for a heart starter device. It now hangs in the balance as to whether Eriksen’s playing career will continue.

Verdict: Hit

Erik Lamela (£30 Million From Roma)

When Lamela arrived during the summer of 2013, he broke Tottenham’s transfer record for a third time.

The Argentine endured a mixed eight seasons at Spurs, in which he provided a number of iconic moments. He scored not one, but two stunning rabona goals – the first of which came in the Europa League against Asteras Tripolis and another last season against Arsenal. His North London derby strike earned him the Premier League’s Goal of the Season award.

But while Lamela demonstrated his undoubted ability, there was the irritating flip side to his game. Described as “chaotic” by former manager Jose Mourinho, Lamela was also sent off in that same fixture against Arsenal – a performance that summarises his Spurs career.

Usually a nuisance to opposing players with his close footwork, relentless pressing and aggressive tackling, Lamela always rose to the occasion whenever he pulled on a Spurs shirt. With 257 appearances for the club, Lamela departs North London hoping he won over the respect of Spurs fans as a cult hero.

Verdict: Hit

 

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