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Transfer Window: Harry’s Spending History, A Sign Of Things To come?

I was planning on leaving this until after the transfer window had shut but to be honest I’m sick and tired of reading, writing and talking about what stadium we might be playing in come 2016 or whatever date it ends up being. I’m sure I’m not the only one. It’s important of course but the longer it goes on and the more talk there is the closer I feel like I support a company and not a football club. Football’s business, we all know that, as fans we know that better than anyone but I don’t need reminding of it everyday.

So onto the transfer window and what we can expect in the final days before it slams shut. The first thing I wanted to look at was what we’ve done in the previous 4 windows since Harry took charge. I’m not including this window because like I said there’s still time to make it a successful one. Much is said about the January transfer window being a tough one to do business in but when you look at the first window Redknapp had we didn’t shy away from getting the chequebook out. Some of these figures might not be completely accurate but they’re close enough for my purposes.

Winter Transfer Window 2009

  • Jermain Defoe – £16m
  • Wilson Palacios – £12m
  • Carlo Cudicini – Free
  • Pascal Chimbonda – £3m
  • Robbie Keane – £15m

That = £46m.

We bought in or bought back depending on how you look at it two strikers with a proven premier league pedigree. One wanted to come and the other waddled back with his tail firmly between his legs. At the time we had Darren Bent, newly signed Roman Pavlyuchenko and on loan Frazier Campbell so strikers were probably needed, although whether Keane was justified I’ll leave up to you.

The one signing Redknapp made which was one we’d been crying out for was Palacios. The defensive minded, holding midfielder who was excellent when he first joined. Things have done downhill since and for the limited time he’s been at the club you could argue the £12m fee was a hefty one for someone who’s been out of form longer than he’s been in it. Cudicini was bought in on a free as cover and apart from breaking his body in that motorbike accident he’s tried his best to push Gomes. The less said about Chimbonda the better as we’ll see later.

The only player sold was Hossam Ghaly for an undisclosed fee.

Summer Transfer Window 2009

  • Kyle Walker – £4m
  • Kyle Naughton – £4m
  • Peter Crouch – £9.5m
  • Sebastian Bassong – £8m
  • Niko Kranjcar – £2.5m
  • Jimmy Walker – Free

Total = £28m.

Another tidy sum. Similar to his first window he bought in some first team players and some squad players. I guess you could say the Kyle’s are prospects and not squad players and at £4m each they’re looking like good signings. Naughton was given a few chances but never truly in his favoured position and Walker has shown a huge improvement and what we can expect from him in the future. If neither get given the chance or don’t make it I’m sure we’ll get our money back at the very least.

Peter Crouch was bought to add to our strike force after the departures of Darren Bent (our top goal scorer from the previous campaign) and the on loan Campbell which left us with Keane, Defoe, Pav and Crouch. Sound familiar?

Bassong came in to bolster the defence and formed an excellent partnership with Dawson but has since slipped down the pecking order through no real fault of his own. An expensive bench warmer some would say. Niko was last season’s buy of the season at only £2.5m, much like Pienaar seems to be this window’s bargain. Much like Bassong he had a good season last year but has spent most of his time on the bench this time around.

Jimmy Walker came in to give even more cover between the sticks even though everyone could see he was never going to play a game, but on a free and on probably low wages it’s no biggy.

Main departures in this window were Didier Zokora, Darren Bent, Chris Gunter, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Chimbonda less than 8 months after joining us and not really playing. Wonder if the Inland Revenue are looking into that one? It’s hard to tell the overall value of these sales as many of them are “undisclosed” but it would be fair to say approximately £25m was raised from those sales. Or put another way, not too far off the amount we spent.

Winter Transfer Window 2010

  • Younes Kaboul – £5m
  • Eidur Gudjohnsen – end of season loan

Total = £5m

The spending stopped in the last January transfer window but when you look at what the team were doing and what they needed that’s no surprise. Why try to fix what’s not broken? Kaboul joined Defoe, Keane and Crouch as players who had left Spurs only to return and he returned as a much better player. Many, including myself wondered what the thinking behind his signing was because when he left he was a liability but since returning he’s in many people’s preferred starting line ups alongside Dawson. He covered Corluka’s absence at right back brilliantly at the tail end of last season and was the catalyst behind “that” goal against City to clinch the champions league spot.

Gudjohnsen was another one of Harry’s wheeler dealer moves. He only started 4 games and scored 2 goals but his impact, in particular in the game away to Stoke gained us points that ended up being very important.

This window only saw loans which included Robbie Keane moving to Celtic for the rest of the season, again only a year after we spent £15m on him and agreed to a £65k per week contract.

Summer Transfer Window 2010

  • Sandro – £6m
  • William Gallas – Free
  • Stipe Pletikosa – end of season loan
  • Rafael van der Vaart – £8m

Total = £14m

Much like the current window last summer was a bit of a let down. At least it was until 6.03pm on the final day when the van der Vaart signing was finalised. Before that we had the confirmation that we’d signed Sandro from Internacional after being linked with him for what seemed like before he was born. Like Walker and Naughton he’s one for the future or at least we hope so. Gallas was bought in because of the injuries sustained to King and Woodgate and ultimately Dawson on international duty. As a free transfer goes this split opinions. Personally I was of the opinion that he wasn’t good enough and while I was wrong I would still prefer to see Bassong given a chance to rekindle his partnership with Dawson and that’s got nothing to do with who Gallas used to play for but more to do with Gallas not being the future of the club.

Pletikosa was yet another keeper Redknapp bought in to act as cover. He was needed because Jimmy Walker was melted down and used as glue. No major ins or outs apart from Adel Taarabt for £1m to QPR where he’s currently destroying defences in the Championship, and once again plenty of loans.

In total Mr Redknapp has been given approximately £70m NETT to spend on transfer fees. Not too shabby in 4 windows but it should be highlighted that there’s only been £20m in the last three. That’s no great surprise as I’ve said before given how successful the team has been in that time. However, it’s still £70m in 2 years so what have we got for that expenditure?

Current First XI (when everyone’s fit – not including King or Woodgate who are never fit)

  1. Jermain Defoe – £16m
  2. William Gallas – Free
  3. Rafael van der Vaart – £8m

That’s it. £24m of the £70m spent is currently playing in our first team. Crouch could be put in there too but for the purposes of this I’m trying to go with what Redknapp would choose against the majority of teams when all the players are fit.

The remaining players, or £58m worth of playing staff spend the majority of their time on the bench or making substitute appearances.

  1. Wilson Palacios – £12m
  2. Robbie Keane – £15m
  3. Peter Crouch – £9.5m
  4. Sebastian Bassong – £8m
  5. Niko Kranjcar – £2.5m
  6. Younes Kaboul – £5m
  7. Sandro – £6m

That’s not to say it’s not important to have strength in depth because it is. The likes of Palacios, Crouch, Bassong and Kaboul have all played major parts so far this season. Sandro might do in the future and you’re always going to get players lose form like Keane and Kranjcar. As has been said many times before we’ve got one of the strongest squads in the league and it’s not hard to see why when our bench costs more than a lot of teams first XI.

Within a maximum of 2 years and in some cases 1 year, players like Palacios, Keane, Crouch, Bassong and Kranjcar have gone from major signings totalling £47m, to players who are now considered not good enough and are either being touted about to other clubs or replacements are being lined up to come in.

We would all agree as a team we have improved immensely. 2 points from 8 games into Europa league contenders to champions league qualifiers and until recently title challengers. All within just over 2 years. That’s some improvement and it’s been largely down to Redknapp.

What I’m trying to say is apart from the odd signing that may have helped at the time to get the odd point here and there have we actually been successful in the transfer market since Redknapp’s arrival? The majority of the team were already in place and it just needed a bit of maturity and coaching which Redknapp has given to take it to the next step.

Make no mistake, this is not an anti Redknapp article in the slightest. Perhaps the money just hasn’t been available in the last few windows having only spent £22m in the last 3. That’s hardly Harry Redknapp’s style is it? Or the players just aren’t available? Look at what we’ve been linked with during this window. I sometimes find myself stuck between two trains of thought, worried we won’t sign the striker we so desperately need or worried we’ll sign Phil Neville!!

We were all looking forward to this window, knowing full well that business is usually harder to do but hoping it won’t be impossible. The last couple of games have shown beyond a doubt the strikers we’ve signed in recent years are no longer up to the job for one reason or another. Looking at it in a more sinister way, Daniel Levy has given £40.5m for strikers and is (we hope) being asked to dig deep once again for another. If that was me I’d be wondering why we bought the wrong one’s in the first place. Or are they the wrong one’s? Has the arrival of vdV meant we now need a striker who’s completely different to what we bought originally?

One things for sure, the final days of this window will have a major impact one way or the other on our season but if we do buy and spend big, the last 2 years have shown us that money doesn’t always bring success and no-one’s too good for the bench.


Submitted by THFC1882



  1. Mark Munro

    January 26, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Remember the Sale of Berbatov alone was of 30m.

  2. Roy Singh

    January 26, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Fair article substantiated with an analysis of financial’s.
    We have achieved with the minimum of expenditure on purchasing top players.. Once again our inconsistency is of prime concern to our progress & to our dreams of our goal.

  3. lewisyido84

    January 26, 2011 at 10:20 am

    your article forgets the fact that we are in the CL now as before we wasn’t, therefore not able to attract a higher pedigree of player.

    Before the Inter games we wasn’t taken serious, but i believe that better players will find spurs more attractive now that they have seen our style of play, the way players are blossoming in the camp and how us supporters are truly the best in the world.

    i love white hart lane as if it was a lover that i would never bore of, but if a move to stratford goes ahead i for one will be pleased we’ll have the best ground in europe, you’ve got to look to the future coys

  4. dannyspur

    January 26, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Harry has done the same at every club he’s been at. It was runoured that he got 10% of every transfer fee in and out when he was at bournemouth and that was what left them fiancially strapped. and don’t forget pompey and southampton and west ham too.

  5. Super_stipe

    January 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    nice black and white break down, seems a little out of context though really.

    all of those players have played a part in getting us into the CL and the top end of the table. Thats what being a in a good squad is all about.

  6. Pingback: Manchester United » Blog Archive » Transfer Window: Harry’s Spending History, A Sign Of Things To come?

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