Ex-Eng­land de­fender Mab­butt hails Spurs’ his­toric trans­fer win­dow

The New Paper - - SPORTS -

Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur be­came the first club to make no new sign­ings in a trans­fer win­dow since it was in­tro­duced in 2003 and, yet, Gary Mab­butt be­lieves that win­dow last sum­mer was the best they have had at the English Premier League club.

The for­mer Eng­land and Tot­ten­ham de­fender told re­porters at a Lon­don press meet on Satur­day or­gan­ised by AIA Sin­ga­pore that Spurs did some­thing more im­por­tant – stop the tal­ent drain.

“Yes, we didn’t buy any­one but the best thing that hap­pened is that we didn’t sell any­one,” the 57-year-old Mab­butt said.

“When Spurs were do­ing par­tic­u­larly well when we had great squads with play­ers like Luka Mo­dric, Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart, all those play­ers have moved on (from the club) very quickly.

“Now, play­ers want to stay at Spurs be­cause we are show­ing that we want to be se­ri­ous con­tenders for the ma­jor hon­ours.”

Mab­butt, who de­spite be­ing told at the age of 17 that he would have to give up foot­ball due to di­a­betes and yet played 611 games in a 16-year Tot­ten­ham ca­reer, also added that Spurs are be­com­ing a stronger force not only be­cause they man­aged to re­tain star play­ers, but also due to their good youth set-up.

“When Toby (Alder­weireld) and Jan (Ver­tonghen) play to­gether, I be­lieve they form the best cen­tre-back part­ner­ship in the EPL,” he said.

“There have been in­juries and the best part of that is that both Davin­son (Sanchez) and (Juan) Foyth have stepped in, and it’s not like there was a glar­ing dif­fer­ence, they did ex­tremely well and that’s why this team are grow­ing to­gether.”

Mab­butt be­lieves Spurs are giv­ing young play­ers a chance to come to the fore and prove them­selves and cited the ex­am­ple of Tot­ten­ham striker Harry Kane’s de­vel­op­ment.

“Four or five years ago, we sent Kane on loan and, when he came back, he didn’t do very well,” Mab­butt said.

“So we sent him on loan again and, when he re­turned, he didn’t do so well again... But Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino just came in and told Kane that he would be Spurs’ No. 1 striker in front of Roberto Soldado and Em­manuel Ade­bayor... and chal­lenged Kane to prove to him that he de­served his spot.

“An­other young lad who has done well is Harry Winks. The squad are com­ing to­gether, some­thing is go­ing to hap­pen here... We can ac­tu­ally go on and con­tend for the ma­jor hon­ours.”

AIA SIN­GA­PORE SCREENGRAB

Gary Mab­butt.

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