3 Worst (Former United) Spurs Signings
During a week in which honest folk contemplated the idea of Dele Alli being sold to PSG for £50m — a neat, 100% profit on what Spurs paid MK Dons back in February 2015 — let’s take a minute to remember those players who proved not to be such good investments for the North London club. With one common theme.
Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the snappily titled: Worst Spurs Signings (Who Once Played For Man United) Ever*
*In the Premier League era.
Though eclipsed by the interstellar young talent emerging at United during his time there, and forever hounded by a string of injuries, Saha was a trusty and often explosive forward for Alex Feguson’s trophy-hoovering side of the mid-to-late 2000s.
In 125 appearances at the Manchester club, he managed a quite respectable 42 goals. Winning the Champions League, a League Cup and two Premier League titles while he was at it.
Sadly this was a far cry from the player that Tottenham picked up in the winter of 2012. Harry Redknapp suggested recently that Spurs were one or two signings away from being genuine title challengers in his final season in charge. Not the wildest claim. This, after all, was a vintage that contained Luka Modrić, Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart.
For those one or two signings, however, I’d take a guess and say that Ryan Nelsen and an ageing Louis Saha were not what Redknapp had in mind. The former Everton man scored 4 goals in his short career at White Hart Lane, but it was clear to everyone that he was some years short of his former, electric best.
How do you sugar coat the frankly irresponsible act of selling your two best players in the same transfer window? If your answer is the loan singing of an unproven United youth graduate, then congratulations, you’re on the same wavelength as the people in charge of Tottenham’s recruitment strategy.
Late August 2008. Robbie Keane had already hotfooted off to Liverpool and Dimitar Berbatov would soon be on his way to Old Trafford for a record fee. As part of the deal which took the brooding Bulgarian to Manchester — a sweetener, if you will — Spurs were offered the services of Fraizer Campbell, on a season long loan.
Well that’s swung it for me, said Daniel Levy.
Two goals in a 4-2 League Cup victory over Liverpool was about the height of his efforts in that single campaign in North London, as Campbell, along with Roman Pavlychenko, struggled to fill the yawning, striker-shaped crater left by the departing Keane and Berbatov.
Fun trivia: Fraizer Campbell has an England cap.
There was some hullabaloo surrounding Spurs’ capture of the young English defender from Standard Liege in 2013. Alex Ferguson went as far as to accuse Tottenham of blatant manipulation of the rules.
In the end, it probably wasn’t worth the fuss as Fryers made just 7 forgettable League appearances for the North London club in two seasons, having bounced from Development Squad to the first-team like the Great Attractor’s Bouncing Ball from Men in Black.
Type ‘where is Zeki Fryers now?’ into Google and it’ll say he’s at Crystal Palace, but that sounds like a guess to me.