Maybe the HP Touchpad fire sale taught Daniel Levy something in the last week: if you have stuff that no one wants then you have to practically give it away. If Alan Hutton is the 16 gigabyte version (only available in white) –
demanding a mere 3 million pounds for his poor application ecosystem – then the 6 million-rated Wilson Palacios is the overclocked, larger capacity hardware (as an aside, is David Bentley’s slow boot sequence the reason that he remains on the shelf?).
With just a day left to save Tottenham’s season, hard-negotiating chairman Levy is finally accepting that to save money you sometimes have to lose money, sanctioning transfers that represent a more than 50% mark down on the various purchase prices. It’s perhaps harsh on Palacios, an inconsistent performer who signified a good performance with an obligatory yellow card. His Tottenham career deteriorated in the aftermath of his brother’s tragic kidnap and murder in 2009. But the 6 million pounds his transfer to Stoke looks likely to net is somewhere around the figure Spurs should have paid for him in the first place. Levy paid too much.
He paid too much for Alan Hutton, a limited defender who spent his entire career in the Scottish league, and has amassed just 51 league games in three and a half seasons. Nine million pounds…seriously.
David Bentley cost Levy about 17 million pounds and is now worth probably a third of that. In fact Bentley may end up going on a free transfer at the end of his deal as nobody wants him. His insipid loan spell at Birmingham last season hardly lit a fire under potential suitors and now he’s been mentioned as a make-weight in an attempt to bring Gary Cahill from Bolton.
Jermain Jenas came in for 7 million pounds with a growing reputation but has rarely convinced. The 21st century Jason Dozzell may still manage to secure a fee around 4 or 5 million pounds because he’s under 30 and English. But the fact that he’s linked with the Premier League lesser lights says it all.
Sebastian Bassong is another ordinary talent that Harry thought was worth a lot of money two years ago but is now also make-weight material.
And the punches keep coming. Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch: all returning to the club for big money, all signed by Harry Redknapp, all flops. People keep making excuses for Defoe but enough is enough. The guy had a few purple patches in seven seasons but he’s just not got the composure or intelligence to be a top class striker. Levy lost big on Keane but he may be fortunate that Steve Bruce thinks Peter Crouch is worth about what Spurs paid for him. For a 30-year-old who has managed just 12 league goals in 67 games, I’d buy him a train ticket to Sunderland (as opposed to driving him there myself – it’s a fairly long way).
Levy’s reluctance to give Redknapp money to spend is understandable. Yes, he’s made some coin on the likes of Berbatov and Carrick but he’s been stung way too much in the past by trying to do the right thing and trust the judgement of the managers and their coaching teams. With Redknapp probably in his last season (or even last months if his upcoming court case has fallout) this season may be transitional. But it gives Levy a chance to push reset, trim the squad, get rid of the dead wood and prepare for a new incumbent…who I hope is Italian with silver hair.