Peter Crouch has completed his move from Portsmouth to Tottenham and it’s a signing that will divide many Spurs fans. There’s a lot of people out there who just can’t see past Crouch’s less than graceful gait, his lack of pace and far from stellar goal scoring record.
I have to concede that I’ve always had something of a soft spot for Crouch. I mean, how can you really dislike someone, who when asked what he would be if he weren’t a professional footballer, replies: “A virgin”?
I’d also be surprised if he doesn’t do a decent job for Tottenham on the pitch. Crouch has the ability to score as many goals as Bent, but will complement our style of play more and provide some balance.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how a move for Crouch over Huntelaar, would be a sign that we are accepting mediocrity, rather than taking a risk for a potentially greater reward. I would have preferred us to have made a move for the Dutchman, but it’s quite possible that Crouch will form a better partnership with Defoe, than the goal hungry Huntelaar would have ever managed.
After all, a good strike partnership is not just down to finding yourself two decent strikers and sticking them together. Witness as evidence the results when Defoe is partnered by Robbie Keane, or the difference the much derided Emile Heskey has made to the England form of Wayne Rooney, since his return to the side.
There is another aspect to this transfer though and it concerns the fact that Crouch actually came through our youth system. Some people might think that £9m for Crouch is decent business, but it’s not when you sold him in the first place for £60,000.
Had Crouch not been sold as a youngster and had spent his career at Tottenham, our fans would now see him as a cult hero, rather than viewing him with suspicion. It’s true that some players need to take a step back down the divisions, to make those difficult two steps forward, but what’s wrong with loaning a player out for two or three seasons, until they’re ready for the first team?
Loaning our best young players out to gain experience, is what Redknapp looks set to do, since scrapping our reserve team. Let’s hope that such a policy will ensure that we won’t be spending big money in ten years time, on a player that we once had for free.