Numerous reports are suggesting that Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder is set to make the move from the San Siro to White Hart Lane when the transfer window re-opens. On the face of it, this would be a great move for Tottenham, but I can't help but think that Spurs would be better off doing their January shopping elsewhere, and here's why.
There is no doubt that Sneijder is among the very best creative playmakers in the world. During his time at Inter, he won the Champions League as well as several league and domestic cup titles. This success came about after he was frozen out at Real Madrid after being surplus to requirements, showing personal resolve and strength of character to prove the doubters wrong, if there ever were any.
Such is Sneijder's quality that he has been linked with moves to Manchester United during almost all of the last five summer transfer windows. He is a player that Sir Alex Ferguson has admired for some time, and has been touted as the player that would complete United’s midfield. Yet, for whatever reason, a move to Old Trafford has thus far failed to materialise, with Ferguson opting to bring in Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund instead, meaning the Dutch international will have to look elsewhere if he wishes to end his stint in Italy in the new year.
However, if Tottenham were to bring in someone of Sneijder's quality, his arrival has the potential to upset the balance at the club. Andre Villas-Boas has a committed and united squad at Spurs with a strong dressing room spirit, and the arrival of a big-name such as the 28-year-old Sneijder is more likely to do harm than good.
'AVB' has a wealth of midfield talent at his disposal and is already struggling to find a place in the side for all his midfielders. As a new signing, and one that would undoubtedly demand astronomical wages, Sneijder would be one of the first names on the teamsheet, and would not be willing to take a place on the bench from time-to-time. With the number of options available to Villas-Boas, this simply isn't possible and it could upset the balance in his starting XI.
Whilst it is widely accepted that competition for places brings increased levels of performance, signing Sneijder could result in healthy competition for places turning disrupting the current dressing room harmony. The club could be left in a similar position to when Rafael van deer Vaart played for Spurs.
The 29-year-old Dutch international expected to play, and the club had to change its system in order to accommodate him. This was less of a problem at the time as Spurs were undergoing a period of change in terms of playing style. To change the system to accommodate Sneijder would be a mistake as it would threaten the good progress that the club have made under Villas-Boas' tutelage.
Sneijder, who has fallen out with the senior officials at Inter Milan after refusing to accept a significant wage cut, has perhaps showed that if he doesn't get his way, he possesses the ability to destabilise a club, with significant consequences.
Although it cannot be denied that Sneijder is a fantastic player in his own right, the team must come before the individual, and his arrival at Spurs could disrupt the harmony at White Hart Lane. No-one can be allowed to compromise the team’s progress and chances of achieving its goals. That is why I believe it could be a costly mistake if Spurs were to sign Sneijder.