The Kranjcar steal that must still haunt Pompey

Tottenham Hotspur made an absolute steal when they basically mugged Niko Kranjcar from Portsmouth last summer. It is surely haunting the south coast club now.

The Croatian international schemer has been a nothing short of an inspired signing by Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp last summer. The 25 yr old was a key member of the Portsmouth side that won the FA Cup in 2008 under Harry Redknapp’s stewardship. With 10 goals in 32 appearances, the talented playmaker has begun to position himself well in Tottenham’s first team plans.

Portsmouth’s financial troubles have been well documented all season and the sale of Niko Kranjcar to Tottenham was to ease those monetary fears. With the fee being undisclosed, but believed could have been as little as £2 million, Portsmouth in all honesty have been robbed. When I heard Kranjcar was joining Tottenham Hotspur I thought it was an inspired piece of business. Having always been a fan of the playmaker, the move gave him a platform to really show his skills at a higher level. His purchase from Portsmouth was in essence to replace a long term injured Luka Modric who suffered a broken leg against Birmingham at the beginning of the season.

Yet this season the trickster has surpassed expectations of not only covering for the injured Modric, but forcing his way into reckoning upon the diminutive Croatian’s return. Harry Redknapp’s midfield options must have the rest of the Premier League clubs envious at the least. Kranjcar’s form has made him be switched across the entire midfield by Tottenham Hotspur just to accommodate him in the team.

Portsmouth meanwhile should maybe rue what they let go. The financial problems caused them to sell him, which I understand. Plus his wages were probably astronomical considering he was one of the first out of the door for a measly sum. Niko Kranjcar himself upon signing for Tottenham declared

‘I want to fight for trophies and I’m sure that at Tottenham I will get this chance, which I didn’t at Portsmouth. So for me this is a big step ahead in my career. If everything at Fratton Park would stay the same as before, I wouldn’t push so much for the move. But the ambitions were gone, the president wasn’t able to give so much money as before, players are leaving the club. I just didn’t want to stay in such a club.’

If Niko Kranjcar wished to leave Portsmouth then I understand the sale of such an influential player, but surely a higher price could have been achieved? The £2-4 million mooted in the press if true is some really poor business by Portsmouth. Tottenham Hotspur got one of the buys of the season in the Croatian international. I think even Harry Redknapp has been surprised at his form for the Lilywhites.

You can follow all Matthew Balmforth’s blogs on twitter:http://twitter.com/Soccer_Opinion