Tottenham Hotspur’s transfer window has been different to those that have gone before it in recent years with new director of football Fabio Paratici taking charge of incomings and outgoings developing a new approach to business at the North London club.
Tottenham’s Hotspur’s Transfer Window Reviewed
Fabio Paratici Changes Stagnant Approach
When former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino led the club to the 2019 Champions League final, there was a feeling that a major rebuild would be needed at the club, but it never came. Instead, chairman Daniel Levy and head of recruitment Steve Hitchen opted to leave the Argentine with the same squad he had got so much out of, going two windows without a single signing. It was a choice that signalled the fall of Pochetino and set Spurs back years. With all the good work that had been done unravelled, fans were left bemoaning yet another false dawn.
The approach to recruitment had become stagnant and even the appointment of serial winner Jose Mourinho could not stop the slide. Rather than building on the good work of Pochettino, Tottenham lost what had become their now regular Champions League place; at the end of the 2020/21 Premier League season, they could only manage qualification to the inaugural Europa Conference League.
The transfer policy was holding the club back and Levy finally had to recognise that if it didn’t change the club could be facing years back in the wilderness of mid-table obscurity.
Fabio Paratici – No Compromises
Paratici joined Spurs from Juventus, where he was as important to their success as the manager when overseeing transfers during a period that brought nine consecutive Serie A titles and two Champions League final appearances.
Paratici is considered to be a workaholic, who rarely takes holidays, with his mobile phone always on, ready to talk to agents, managers and players. Parma’s managing director of sport, Javier Ribalta, who worked with Paratici at Juventus between 2012 and 2017, told The Guardian;
“I would call him an incredible worker. I don’t even know when he can find time to sleep. He works 24 hours a day, and that’s not a saying. Usually, Paratici’s calls are after midnight, with the energy of someone calling you at noon!”
Paratici brought Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba to Juventus and enjoys having strong relationships with players and being involved on match days. This has already been seen with Spurs as he is animated on the bench and acts as part of the coaching staff.
So how has Paratici performed in his first transfer window for Tottenham?
Ten Weeks, Five Signings
Two years on from Pochettino’s request for a ‘painful rebuild’ at Spurs, it has finally begun and Tottenham Hotspur’s transfer window has been one of calculated success.
First in was Pierluigi Golini, a goalkeeper from Atalanta, who has already played in Spurs’ opening Conference League matches, showing confidence. He looks to be a shrewd purchase for the future, with Hugo Lloris nearing the end of his time in North London.
It was also Atalanta where Paratici struck again to bring in the defender Cristian Romero, who was the 2020/21 defender of the year in Serie A.
Exciting young forward Bryan Gil was brought in from Sevilla, with Erik Lamela going the other way. Gil can run with the ball, is pacy, skilful and has already got Spurs fans excited with his play in the Europa Conference League in the early stages of the new season.
Barcelona was Paratici’s next target, bringing in right-back Emerson Royal following the signing of Papa Matar Sarr from Metz. The latter will remain with the French club on loan until the end of the 2021/22 season.
Youth and quality have always been watch words for Paratici, and in ten short weeks he has worked tirelessly to ensure Tottenham Hotspur’s transfer window was positive and balanced with signings and departures.
Not bringing players into the club has been an issue for Levy in recent years. Yet, it must be said, an equal issue has been the failure to offload players with prices dropping, leaving managers tying to motivate players that no longer want to play for the club.
Paratici, however, has found new homes for Joe Hart, Lamela, Toby Alderweireld, Moussa Sissoko, Juan Foyth, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Paulo Gazzaniga, and, whilst a couple are only loan deals, it means Nuno Espirito Santo knows exactly what he has to work with, something that Pochettino lacked toward the end of his reign and something that Mourinho was never happy with.
The departures also saw Tottenham reduce the average age of the squad, which now looks far younger, more vibrant and more focused on long term targets rather than lurching from one season to the next with very little direction.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Transfer Window Shows Positive Approach
Paratici has galvanised Spurs’ transfer policy and to achieve five signings in his first ten weeks in the job is a remarkable feat of negotiation. It shows that he is held in high esteem in the football world.
Now Tottenham have the chance to focus on matters on the field amid their quest to break back into the top four and return to the Champions League, something that Paratici’s bold approach can only help in the coming seasons.
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