Tottenham’s squad between 2010 and 2012 was full of talent.
Gareth Bale and Luka Modric are just two of the names that come to mind, but Rafael van der Vaart was pretty handy as well. In 77 games, he managed 28 goals and 18 assists and, overall, he was a joy to watch – and he was a real bargain as well.
Here, we walk you through his Spurs career with the help of five pictures.
19 goals and 16 assists in the 2007/08 season for Hamburg saw Real Madrid make their move for the Netherlands international, with him costing them £13.5m. However, he failed to really make the grade at the Santiago Bernabeu, although he did manage 12 goals in 73 matches. It looked as though he was moving to Bayern Munich for £18m, but that fell through, leaving Harry Redknapp with the chance to sign him for just £8m. Already with 83 Netherlands caps at the time, he already looked like a bargain.
The former Ajax youth product was particularly a nemesis for Tottenham’s fierce rivals Arsenal. He only played against them four times, but he managed to score as many times.
The picture above is taken from his brace against the Gunners in their 3-3 draw in 2011, by which point he had already scored once before against them.
He also netted in Spurs’ 2-1 win during the 2011/12 campaign – his record against the Emirates outfit for Spurs stands at two wins, one draw and one defeat, not a bad return.
Peter Crouch is a Premier League legend in his own right, managing over 100 goals in the top flight. He proved to be valuable to van der Vaart, as well. They played 31 times together during his time there, and eight of the 37-year-old’s assists were for the 6ft 7in colossus – that means that 44.4% of all of van der Vaart’s assists were for the former England international.
Crouch also created two of the midfielder’s goals as well – they worked well together.
It was in February of 2012 when his Transfermarkt value was at its highest – at the time, he was worth £22.5m. Only during a six-month spell at Los Merengues was that number higher.
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In all fairness, it wasn’t his best month – he only played one game, and even that was a 5-2 loss against Arsenal – but his displays beforehand saw him earn such a high valuation.
Whilst he was a talent for Tottenham on the pitch, he was unable to lead Spurs to any silverware. They were knocked out of the 2010/11 Champions League by Real Madrid, were unable to make it out of the group stages in the 2011/12 Europa League, and couldn’t progress further than the third round in the League Cup.
The 2012 FA Cup was the closest they got, when they reached the semi-finals, but it wasn’t to be then either – they were hammered 5-1 by Chelsea at Wembley, with the picture above taken from that humiliation.