In the midst of a flurry of transfer activity at White Hart Lane this summer, it has gone rather unnoticed that the Lillywhites have significantly reduced the numbers of English players in their squad.
Why has Andre Villas-Boas undertaken such a cull of domestic players from his squad?
Although much of the summer was dominated by the speculation over the future of star player Gareth Bale, Spurs also made the headlines following an incredible £100million+ transfer spree, signing the likes of Roma forward Erik Lamela, Ajax playmaker Christian Eriksen and Valencia striker Roberto Soldado.
Whilst these are undoubtedly fantastic additions that will eventually vastly improve the quality of the Spurs side once they have settled into the team, it must be noted that several long-standing Spurs players were allowed to leave the club.
Fan favourites Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Clint Dempsey both departed, but the departures that shocked me the most were those of Englishmen Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone and Steven Caulker.
Granted, Parker’s technical ability is undoubtedly on the wane, but in Huddlestone Spurs had a real creative midfielder, and in Caulker one of the most promising young defenders in the country.
To put this into perspective, when Villas-Boas took charge of the north London side in July 2012, Tottenham had nothing short of 13 English players who could be considered a part of the first-team set up.
Fast-forward to November 2013 and only nine Englishmen remain. At first glace this may not appear a drastic reduction, however, of those nine players, only four have appeared regularly in starting XI’s for Spurs this season: Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker, Andros Townsend and Jermain Defoe.
Furthermore, if speculation is to be believed, Defoe could be seeking to leave the club in the January transfer window in order to try and cement his place for next summers’ World Cup.
Aaron Lennon has struggled with injuries of late, and will find it difficult to break back into a talented first XI. Finally, Dawson’s position in the side could well be under threat given the form of new signing Vlad Chiriches and the return of Younes Kaboul from injury.
Taking this all into account, the prospect of an English dominated Spurs side in the foreseeable future appears bleak.
Villas-Boas attempted to defend his summer transfer policy in which not a single English player was signed, claiming, ‘the valuations in England are simply impossible to meet.’
Whilst this may undoubtedly be the case, I find it disappointing to see a team which always provided numerous England internationals in the past so devoid of domestically produced talent.
Although English players do have a tendency to be overpriced, their passion and desire can make them invaluable assets in huge derby games. Perhaps when timidly losing 1-0 to Arsenal in September, Villas-Boas may have regretted his decision to dispose of so many English players in such a short period of time.