West Ham have an unenviable reputation for being a conveyor belt for young English talent.
Leeds spent a lot of money on good young players who were then auctioned off as the club went down in flames.
Tottenham is bigger than West Ham, and Tottenham is better managed than Leeds was.
But are Tottenham as good as Arsenal in keeping hold of their young talent?
On the surface, this sounds preposterous. Tottenham are a buying club, not a selling club. They’ve effectively transitioned into a top second-tier club in the Premiership, and will stay there for a long time.
However, there are signs that Tottenham will lose some of their brightest young stars in the coming years.
Carrick was the first to go. With Aaron Lennon it’s only a matter of time before the lure of Champions League football takes him away to United or Chelsea. Defoe and Jenas are not ‘that good’ yet, but a couple of years is a long time in football and both could be snapped up by bigger clubs.
And now Tottenham have signed Taarabt from Lens (technically he’s on loan, but the deal should be finalised in summer with Taarabt fast-tracked into the first team) and along with Huddlestone he’ll be part of the new wave of Tottenham players that will be watched closely by Premieship recruiters.
Tottenham are not a selling club, but they’ll find it very hard to hold on to their top talent if the big four come knocking.