Mauricio Pochettino has made only the necessary tweaks to his Spurs squad, with youngster Dele Alli the most intriguing deadline day signing.
Alli signed for Spurs late last night, despite an agreement being made with MK Dons early on in the day, and the 18-year-old will now return to Milton Keynes on loan. His arrival in the summer will bolster Spurs’ flailing attack, though Lilywhites fans also received good news in the announcement of a new deal for Harry Kane.
Despite rumours of a grand clear-out, only Aaron Lennon departed for Everton, with an option to sign a permanent Toffees deal at the end of the season. Of all those left in the cold in recent months, there appeared far too much emphasis on ousting the club hero who had entered his tenth year at Tottenham.
Lennon’s departure should not have been a priority, and looked to be coming from one side as the winger turned down Leicester City. Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches both saw moves to AS Roma fall through, but in spite of their indifferent form, this could work in Pochettino’s favour, as both possess the ability to cover at right-back.
With Kyle Walker’s fitness never to be relied upon, it is probably for the best that they retain strength-in-depth at the back.
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Kaboul also entered talks with West Ham over a £2.5 million deal, but it is safe to say relations have been strained over Spurs chairman Daniel Levy’s hard bargaining.
Hammers owner David Gold took to social media to express his contempt for Levy, who also refused to give way over Adebayor. Spurs were reportedly willing to subsidise a loan move to any club, but West Ham appeared a different matter because of their – albeit debatable - top four potential.
The bitterness between the two boards has also taken the form of West Ham making accusations of spying over their contested Olympic stadium move. In a final blow, Spurs can now sign Winston Reid when his contract expires this summer, meaning the Hammers will miss out on a fee.
The same can be said of Kevin Mirallas, whose time at Everton is rapidly running out. Unsurprisingly, Roberto Martinez was not willing to see him go without lining up a suitable replacement, particularly after a loan move for Manchester United’s Adnan Janujaz collapsed.
FC Cologne’s Kevin Wimmer is another that will now have to wait for the summer, and should the deal go through, that could pave the way for Kaboul’s departure. The clear-out is likely to continue into the summer as Pochettino continues to make his mark. It is difficult to see hate-figure Adebayor returning to the side properly, having been booed by the home fans on his last two appearances.
It fell to Benoit Assou-Ekotto to steal Adebayor’s thunder – and the wrath of the Spurs fans – as he celebrated his release by uploading a picture titled ‘Freedom’. Regardless of his talent, BAE will not be remembered for notching up the most Champions League minutes of any Spurs player, or for his opening day winner against Liverpool in 2009, but for all the wrong reasons, including punching one of his own supporters.
Pochettino has acted wisely in slamming the door shut on an unnecessarily controversial Spurs career.