Tottenham: First six fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season
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Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has seen his fears come true following the recent departure of defender Toby Alderweireld. The Belgian centre-back has left the club for a reported fee of £13million to join Qatari side Al-Duhail SC, marking the end of an era at Spurs.
In November 2019, Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Alderweireld were all in the final of their contracts at the club and caused Levy to dread the prospect of losing over £100million worth of talent for nothing.
Eriksen was the first to leave in January 2020, agreeing a cut-price £16m deal to join Inter Milan, meanwhile Vertonghen departed on a free transfer to Benfica in the summer.
The sale of Alderweireld means the Lilywhites only managed to receive just under £30m for the three players combined, which is poor business by Levy’s standards.
Known for his reputation of being a shrewd operator, the Spurs chairman fought off outside interest to keep the three players at the club for as long as possible but failed to reap the rewards of their commitment to the cause.
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Spurs’ ‘Golden Generation’, featuring the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eriksen, failed to win a trophy while working together despite coming close on a number of occasions.
Under the guidance of former boss Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham came close to Premier League glory in two successive seasons (2015/16, 2016/17) but ultimately fell short despite their talented team.
Further pain was around the corner in the 2017 FA Cup final and 2019 Champions League showpiece event, ensuring the club’s wait for silverware was to carry on.
Speaking in January 2017, Eric Dier admitted members of the squad would be “disappointed” in 2022 if they had failed to achieve success – something that is close to becoming a reality.
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“Football is about winning trophies,” said the Spurs midfielder.
“If you ask us later on in life and we hadn’t won a trophy with the squad we have now, the players we’ve got and the basis we have to do that…if in five years’ time [that hadn’t happened] everyone would be disappointed.
“We’ve got to keep working hard and improving as there is still a lot we can work on before we reach that level, and the whole squad is desperate to win trophies.
“Every game we play we want to win, no matter the competition or opponent, which means winning something at the end of it. That’s our aim no matter what team is out there.”
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