It may have taken a little longer than desired, but Harry Redknapp has his man.
Tottenham’s last-minute, 8m pound move for Dutch star Rafael Van der Vaart has been given the thumbs-up from the Premier League, nearly a full day after the end of the summer transfer season.
After only launching their bid to land the Real Madrid man with a couple of hours to push the deal through, Tottenham submitted the necessary documents mere minutes before the deadline, but the club still had to wait until this afternoon to find out if all of the i’s had been dotted and t’s crossed properly and in time.
In the end, the deal is done, and for less than half of what he’d have cost just a day prior, as an 18m pound move to Bayern Munich was reportedly in the works before he became available to Spurs for the bargain fee.
After coming through the renowned Ajax academy, Van der Vaart made his senior debut at the end of the 1999/2000 season and made his full breakthrough into the first team the next season. He left Ajax for German side Hamburg SV in a 5.5m euro move in 2005, and he repaid that cut-rate investment tenfold, scoring 48 goals in 116 appearances over three seasons and leading HSV to two top-four finishes.
Van der Vaart moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2008, but he wasn’t able to replicate his success in Hamburg and was unable to hold down a regular place in the starting XI.
Now, after two seasons, 70 appearances, 12 goals, and 13 assists at Real, he is headed to the Premier League, where he stands to bolster Tottenham’s hopes of scoring another top-four Premier League finish and advancing from a Champions League group that includes reigning European champions Inter Milan and a couple of old foes for Van der Vaart in FC Twente and Werder Bremen.