Tottenham Hotspur led a relatively quiet transfer deadline day in terms of players that were brought into the club, but they did make one major signing by way of Benjamin Stambouli from Montpellier. The midfielder has arrived for an undisclosed fee, thought to be within the region of £5 million.
A 24 year old who has been tipped for a big future in football, the player has spent the past 4 years, and most of his developing years, at Montpellier. He broke into the Ligue 1 side’s first team in 2010, and has made 112 appearances for the team since then, scoring 3 goals. He carries an impressive resume, but is there still a feeling of ‘what might have been’ at Spurs?
The North London club had been hoping to sign Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton, but Saints stood firm by their refusal to let the player leave. An established French international and Premier League player, Schneiderlin would have conducted a much heftier transfer fee, but he would have been a much more impressive addition as well.
In Stambouli, Spurs might have a top flight star – in Schneiderlin, they definitely would have had a top flight star. Before the existing positive relationship between Pochettino and the Southampton star is even taken into account, the purchase would have been considered as considerably more high-profile and ambitious. Given that the manager and the missed target have enjoyed success in the past, the opportunity seems even greater.
That is not to say that Stambouli isn’t a good purchase – this could be the beginning of a great Premier League career. However, the player comes with an element of the unknown, and a greater element of risk.