Tottenham’s appointment of Andre Villas-Boas was on the condition that the Portuguese trainer had money to spend and control over his inherited squad. After less than two months in charge the new man is certainly making his presence felt, with the club’s playerbase being tailored to his liking. Although the signings of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jan Vertonghen and now Emmanuel Adebayor have been captured, existing players are ready to make way, with Michael Dawson the biggest name on the exit list.
Dawson has improved markedly since moving to north London in 2005 from Nottingham Forest; the defender was initially unpredictable and slightly shaky but has transformed himself into a dependable and able England international. Although Dawson’s injury problems have been well-documented, the centre-half has played a key role in Spurs’ emergence as a top four challenger and is a popular figure at White Hart Lane. At his best he has been a commanding figure and a worthy captain.
At the time of writing Dawson is being linked with a £9 million move to London neighbours QPR, with an exit seemingly in the pipeline this week. Although Dawson does not have the same sway as Villas-Boas’ previous scapegoat Frank Lampard at Chelsea, the manager must be careful not to upset the apple cart too much, as was the case at Stamford Bridge. Dawson’s popularity amongst the Spurs players is evident and as such a few will raise their eyebrows at his departure.
Dawson is not the only casualty of the managerial change. Sebastien Bassong has made the switch to Norwich in a relatively predictable transfer. However, others are thought to be in line to receive Andre’s axe too.
Tom Huddlestone has reportedly been made available for loan, with the central midfielder looking likely to sign for Stoke initially on a temporary basis before the end of August. With Scott Parker still sidelined after surgery and Luka Modric on his way out, casting aside ‘Thud’ could leave AVB short of options in the engine room.
Others such as Kyle Naughton, Jermaine Jenas, William Gallas and even Aaron Lennon have been speculated with a move elsewhere, in an uncertain time for a number of the Tottenham contingent.
Although the promise of a new ambitious manager and players joining the club makes for an exciting time for Spurs, the White Hart Lane faithful will hope that Villas-Boas will not rue the sale of Dawson or other squad players once the window closes.