Spurs tread water while sharks show teeth

When Harry Redknapp secured fourth place for Tottenham Hotspur in 2010, he proclaimed that Spurs were two or three top, top players away from competing at the highest level. That seemed a fair, if slightly optimistic assessment but two and half transfer windows later are they any closer to reaching this top tier? And how much have they improved their squad?

They can point to the capture of Rafael van der Vaart as a step forward, he is definitely a crowd pleaser who relishes the big occasions, he is a top quality player, if not entirely consistent. And his price was indisputably superb. However, despite the fact that he has proven to be a success, his signing was a last minute piece of luck that allowed Spurs to disguise their inactivity in a summer in which they were looking to seriously improve their squad. Tottenham was incredibly close to a disastrously quiet transfer window.

The signing of Gallas, whilst controversial, was certainly astute, adding the required experience and quality to the squad. But at 33, it was not an investment to move the club onto the next level, it was a short-term fix, A good one certainly, but not a signing to signal a bright future competing for the top honours.

Sandro looks like a fantastic player but obviously does not fall into the category of a top, top player just yet and Steven Pienaar looks a lot like a deal that Redknapp just couldn’t resist. He has added little more than options and energy in midfield since January, certainly not the goals that Spurs really need.

So of the two or three top players that Tottenham needed to push on 12 months ago, what have they got? 1 top player in Van der Vaart? One top player but not exactly what they needed in Van der Vaart? 1 and half top players in Van der Vaart and Gallas? Since Spurs expressed the need for top signings, their transfer dealings have definitely been underwhelming.

If the January transfer window is anything to go by, then Levy and Redknapp are only too aware of their failings. Reports suggested they were scampering between La Liga’s top strikers, throwing bids out left, right and centre.

Despite these attempts, have Spurs really shown enough ambition? Over the last two transfer windows they certainly have not bought well enough to satisfy the top players at the club or to prove that Spurs really are heading in the right direction.

Spurs need at least one genuinely impressive signing, a top goalscorer, a really triffic player, and they need him fast. At the moment it feels like they’re treading water, while clubs all around are splashing the cash.

Who would lift Spurs to the next level? Can the current squad qualify for the Champions League next season?