Just a couple of days into the Andre Villas-Boas era, Tottenham Hotspur have made two moves that will hopefully bolster the squad both this fall and years down the road.
Spurs announced via the team's official website on July 4 that they had completed the transfer of attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson from Hoffenheim. The story on the team's website did not disclose terms of the deal, but BBC reported an £8m price-tag on Wednesday. Sigurdsson had been linked with Liverpool throughout the early stages of summer, a deal rumored to be around the £7m range. According to several reports, however, the player's wage demands put a halt to that transfer, allowing Sigurdsson to make a move to White Hart Lane.
Sigurdsson, who will turn 23-years old this September, spent a portion of the 2011-12 season with English Premier League side Swansea City on a loan. He had seven goals in 19 appearances with Swans, and he was also named the Barclays Player of the Month for this past March. Sigurdsson has also featured in the Iceland National Team.
The acquisition of the young and talented Sigurdsson is seemingly the first of several changes coming to the Tottenham midfield this summer. Luka Modric may/may not be days away from submitting a transfer request that would allow the wantaway midfielder to make a desired move to either Real Madrid or Manchester United. Rumors also continue to swirl regarding the status of Rafael Van der Vaart. Van der Vaart, reportedly interested in playing in Germany in order to spend more time with his wife, voiced his desire to stay at Tottenham in early June. Those comments came before manager Harry Redknapp was sacked, however, and Van der Vaart has, since joining Spurs, been viewed as being one of "Harry's guys." Villas-Boas, hardly seen as a "player's coach" while at Chelsea, could be just one more reason for Van der Vaart to leave London and the Premier League. Some fans posting on social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook have even speculated that Sigurdsson could ultimately be a Van der Vaart replacement.
Spurs also made a move to strengthen the team's back line for the future. Tottenham announced on Thursday that central defender Steven Caulker has signed an extension that will keep him at White Hart Lane until 2016. The 20-year old Caulker, who also spent last season at Swansea, will represent Great Britain during the upcoming London Olympics.
Caulker had himself a fine 2011-12 campaign, but that may not translate to first choice football at Spurs starting this fall. Tottenham are still working on bringing Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen to the team. Vertonghen is currently training with Ajax, but many news outlets have reported that he will eventually join Spurs, perhaps even before Tottenham depart for a US tour later this month. Assuming that Vertonghen does eventually sign on with the club, he and Younes Kaboul could be the team's starting CBs come August. Tottenham certainly need depth at the position, with the futures of Ledley King, William Gallas and Michael Dawson all in doubt this summer.