Every year, Tottenham are linked with a galaxy of stars. On the forums you read ‘We need a striker, we need a left back, we need a centre half’ and so on and so on. Virtually a whole team, despite just being a couple of wins from a Champions league space last season.

The ITK’s come out of the woodwork claiming that a friend of a friend of Daniel Levy’s gardener has heard ********* (insert any world class player you wish), is in talks with the club about an imminent deal.

We as fans get caught up in frenzy, thinking we need new players – any player. We don’t care who. Just buy someone!

Sometimes the solution is closer to your doorstep than you think. Looking at the forums, you see all this talk about Chris Samba and how we’re desperate to get him, giving them half our squad and £10 million for the services of the French-born Congolese defender.

I just can’t see why we would need him. We already have a player in our squad who is potentially twice the player. He’s fast, strong, excellent on the ball and is a goal scoring threat. He is technically and physically as good as any ball playing centre-half in the league.

I know your probably thinking – we know,but King won’t last forever and Dawson needs a long term defensive partner.

You could never replace a fully fit King. A player like that only comes once every 20 years. To my mind, if King had kept fit, it would have been Terry and Rio who would have been fighting for the right to partner the Tottenham player in the heart of the England’s defence. No, I was thinking of Younis Kaboul.

Kaboul has yet to reach his potential. The former Auxerre player has had an interesting football journey. He was an established member of Auxerre’s French cup winning team and captain of the under-21 team. Great things were being written about the boy from Saint- Julien-en- Genevois.

Despite having offers from some big teams such as Chelsea, Inter Milan and Liverpool, he joined Tottenham in the summer of 2007.

With the addition of Bale, these signings looked like assured long term investments, with both having the physical and footballing ability to be mainstays at Tottenham for years.

Unfortunately, despite a promising start (he scored on his home debut), Kaboul found it very difficult to cope with the pace of the Premier League at a time when Spurs were struggling.

Having ability is one thing, but having the understanding of playing centre-half in the English game is another. Countless times he was exposed and more importantly was effecting Dawson’s game. Dawson was being exposed, as his youthful partner would go AWOL.

The lad had to take a backward step before he could go forward and going to Portsmouth was like going back to school. Under the tutelage of Redknapp and perhaps more importantly Tony Adams, he started to understand the game, producing some heroic performances, scoring 5 goals in 50 games.

On his return, he came back a more disciplined player, not trying to be the best player on the pitch and remembering he was a defender first. He has had some memorable moments, his assist for Crouch’s goal at the City of Manchester Stadium being the highlight, closely followed by the winner at the Emirates.

This season is a massive one for Kaboul, with emerging talents like Caulker on his heels, he really does need to establish himself, reaching the heights his potential deserves. The kid can do everything needed by a centre half, he just needs to a) believe it himself and b) be given a chance by Redknapp.

Dawson and a new improved Kaboul could save us £10 million and that could be invested in the striker all Tottenham fans are craving for.

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51 COMMENTS

    • Agree with you there. Although the one good thing about Samba is that he has played under allardyce and has learned how to get on the end of a set play, and cause havoc in the opposition box. At 27, he’s got a good 5 years at the peak of his career. I’d swap him for Bassong and a few £m – don’t pretend any of you wouldn’t!

  1. Totally agree…… good article. we have walker this year who will definately get the nod over Charlie, with Dawson Kaboul Gallas King and charlie as back up we have enough central defenders.
    Just give me Lass & a striker and bring it on COYS !!!

    • granted we need a striker, but getting in Samba would be benefical to the squad, he is a man mountain! …but most important it is a way of getting rid of keane, bentley, bassong?! otherwise we might not be able to shift em

  2. Agreed. Instead of looking at targets constantly we need to look at how we can get the best out of the squad. Some it comes down to the simple fact that some players can’t get a look in ahead of top performers (krankjear can’t displace Bale for example). Others are past their best or not up to the grade anymore (Keane, Crouch, Hutton). However you also have to ask why Harry has not been able to exploit the full potential of other gifted individuals who are not fulfilling their promise: GDS is consistenty outstanding for Mexico, Bentley was our most expensive signing, JJ is athletic and one of the most naturally gifted footballers we have. In HR’s defense certain players have evolved during his time there (BAE, Bale, Lennon) and some of the youngsters show good promise.
    I think a lot of it comes down to a reluctance to rotate the squad. Playing Bale and VDV at 75% constantly last season is probably what cost us last season since they either did not perform or aggravated injuries. And then when he’s forced to bring a fringe player in, they have no match sharpness!
    Instead of buying more decent players who don’t signif

    • are u buzzing adrian .. “jj is athletic and one of the most naturally gifted footballers we have” ????? keep taking the pills dude

    • I agree with what you said. Harry sometimes seems to lack the bravery to try different set up’s for different teams, except he just picks whoever is fit out of the ‘star’ players. I think he is sometimes reluctant to tell VDV and even maybe even Bale occasionally to sit on the bench when really, it would be best for the team, given the particular opposition. Also, I hope our injury list is better this year. We can’t surely suffer a third season with a train crash injury list, can we?

  3. …and he’s not bad at RB either… Good article. Well put. I hope HR sees the light and gives him a run of games this season 🙂 And gets the striker we’ve all been begging for!

    • He is Ok cOver for rb but I would never choose him over Charlie for one reason, when I watched him at rb, most notably at home with west brom, his passing was AWEFUL he made about 3 gd passes (not exaggerating at all) I thought it was palacios in disguise so keep him a cb where he’s more comfortable . On another note we may not need diarra as in pre season I saw corluka play as our holding midfielder and he was excellent, his passing was smooth he had good positioning for defending in midfield he was good going forward and seemed quite mobile for someone who is 6ft 🙂

  4. Agreed.It would also be nice to rely more on our other youthful players such as Townsend,Bostock and Livermore.

    Now I don’t mean throw them all in together as that would be silly,but surely our established players are mature enough to talk the odd one through a game against the less danderous opponents in the Premier League.

    You don’t have to spend big bucks on star players you just need good technical younger players who are able to learn from those around them.And with time they will grow into those thirty million pound “stars” that the Man Citys of this world crave.

  5. I
    Couldn’t agree more. Kabul is class and can score from set
    Pieces.

    Save the money and get a striker who can play with Defoe and VdV

  6. I have been saying this for a while Kaboul should be 1st on the team sheet he was outstanding up to headbutting Tiote and getting sent off, he then got injured but anyone will tell ya he is the better player when it comes to him and Dawson…..English favouritism will always provail.

    Watch Younes take off this year

    • Exactly, did you watch the difference between bassong and daws in the first half and kaboul and daws in the 2nd. Kaboul is world class unless he would currently be frnce’s first choice- in a position which france have alot of quality.
      Dont buy Samba because what if King plays as many games in the season we got 4th Samba will be mostly a bench warmer for epl games.

  7. Kaboul was one of my players of the year last season, thought he improved in leaps and bounds and as for that winning goal against the Scum, he is set to be a Tottenham legend.

  8. the end of the day get

    Lloris in Gomes out
    Samba in Bassong out
    Hulk in Bentley out
    maybe another striker

    but for the love of god stoke buy Crouch he is the worst player ever he makes me sick.

  9. Also agree and certainly is a good article. As well as Kaboul and King we have Gallas who is world class and Caulker. We have Walker and Corluka at right back and Ekotto and Rose at left back. Corluka can play centre back and Rose left mid if need be. Sorry to repeat but get us a world class striker.

  10. Kaboul is a much better player then Samba, our problem is we have so many quality players in our squad that when they dont get game time other clubs assume theres something wrong with them or there value goes down.
    Our strength is in the players we already have, obviously we want a striker but I would happy going with what we have!
    If we are going for Samba and Diahra then we must already have a striker in the bag! why else would we stregthen positions that dont really need stregnthening unless a striker is close.

  11. Instead of buying more decent players who don’t significantly improve our first team (Piennar, Parker, Barton, Samba) let’s try to work with what we have. There’s enough potential in Kaboul as you correctly identified, and I don’t want to write Bassong off either – he had a good first season and his body language last season suggests he simply lacks confidence. Give him a bit more time alongside Gallas instead of asking him to marshall a young partner like Caulker and he may improve.
    So unless we’re going to bring in a midfielder or defender that can really take us to the next level (Diarra is the only one we’ve been linked to who comes close), let’s bank the cash that we’d otherwise waste on 50k a week wages, transfer fees and signing on bonuses, and use it towards a top striker as you say, or to tie down the likes of Bale to a longer contract. In the meantime nurture the talent we have. Don’t let Walker, Naughton, Sandro, Livermore, Caulker, GDS Coullibay, and Kane go down the same route as Tarrabt, but instead help them become the Bales of tomorrow.

  12. It’s all good in theory, having Dawson, Kaboul, King and Gallas as our CB options (I don’t consider Corluka as an option because he’s simply not good enough in that position at Premier League level), but the fact of the matter is that King we know will be unavailable for at least 50% of our games this season (and probably, unfortunately more) and neither him nor Gallas have had a pre-season, which has big implications on their fitness during a long season. That means we are likely to be without both of them quite often next season, and if you think we can rely on Dawson and Kaboul to stay clear of injury and suspension all season for 4 competitions, you’re nuts. I’m not denying they’re all top-quality CBs, but we struggled a lot last season in that position and we’d be stupid to not address it. Bearing in mind this will probably be King’s and Gallas’ last season for us as well, it would mean we’d have a first-choice CB already settled in at the club to soften the blow of losing them.

    I for one feel signing Samba, or an equally able centre back, IS a necessity if we are to sustain a challenge for the Top 4 and cup competitions this season. It’s just naive to think we can do with what we’ve got, especially when you look at the injury records of our CBs and the club in general.

  13. I agree that even with losing Woody, Ledley being in and out and Gallas struggling from time to time we have enough in defence. Striker please!

    I disagree with Kaboul’s Spurs highlight. That has to be the winner at the Emigrates.

    • No ! We dont have enough in defence. Gallas and King CANNOT be relied upon. We DO need another top class CB to partner either Dawson or Kaboul. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE !

  14. Well we have the voice or reason at last. The trouble with our supporters they panicked just like the police did with the rioters. We missed out in a week of desperation with a team who had not played together two games running and Missing Bale and King and Hudds coming back on one ankle. If King had come back earlier and stopped Gomes from wandering off his line and watching long range shots rain past him we could have finished 3rd or higher. The week we finally lost our place in the top four waswhen West Brom score the eqalizer from distance by a player who had not scored Cox. We got robbed by Chelsea and City beat Blackburn 1-0 with a late late offside obstructing by Mad bad Balloteli and scored by his first goal Zdecko So we los tour place in 2 weeks of first time goal scorers and bad referees assistants . We could still challenge with what we have don’t forget Harry loaned Keane Dosantos Caulker Bentley Walker Rose Townsend Kane who scored the winner against Arsenal when we got 4th and got goal of the season yes first time scorer Rose. One of these players could have helped when we suffered bad injuries Harry was too kind with his loaning’s. So fro me keeping continuity and less loans and injuries and with some youngsters we could just shock a few doubters less is more 2nd and two cups.

  15. Don’t understand the point of this. Woodgate is gone, Bassong is inconsistent, Caulker and Khumalo are not ready. That leaves Dawson, Gallas, Kaboul and King. If any one of them goes down (which they will – most likely two) we better have quality in depth. Hell yes we need a center-back! Why compare Samba to Kaboul at all? Comparing him to Bassong makes more sense. Seb is the weak link. Samba would be a serious upgrade in depth for multiple competitions.

    • I think that Bassong needs a run of games. It’s not coincidence that we got 4th when he was playing more often or that he was the only decent player in the Newcastle side that went down. Trouble with Harry is that he quickly forgets the players that got Spurs into the CL, i.e. Bassong, Kranjcar, etc.

  16. Fantastic article. I agree that Kaboul could be a vital player this year but, as others have stated, to clinch a top four place alongside all of the other competitions we will be involved in it is vital that we have enough centre backs to fill in for King’s (and often Gallas’) constant injury-forced absences. If Bassong leaves in search of first team football, then we have reduced that defensive squad and should sign a centre back of Samba’s calibre.

    Hopefully Caulker develops into a a quality player during his loan spell at Swansea so that we don’t have to worry too much about splashing the cash. We should use our funds to bring in a striker, although I am backing Defoe to have a good season.

  17. Jagjit I could’nt agree with you more, Kaboul’s a top class centre half who with more game time could become a massive player for us for years to come. I’m so glad that he found his way back to us and we did’nt lose him for good. Size, power, pace, skill and flexability. Samba is good but we do not need him besides, Kaboul is better and younger. I dont know why we bought the South African boy because it must have down heartned Caulker who I feel also has a bright future. We do not need anymore Centre Halves for christ sake. All we ask for is some new fire power up front….please.

  18. Unfortunately I think we do need cover. The King and Gallas situations mean that we can never expect to rely on them this season until the day of the game. You simply can’t think of throwing Caulker in against the top half of the table yet imo, so that leaves us with Kaboul and Dawson with Corluka or Thudd (!) as cover.

    A serious injury to Dawson or Kaboul and we’re screwed.

    It’s a shame Bassong didn’t get the game time last season to build on a decent first part of his career with us. Mind you, I think he’s mentally not what we need – he’d be great with Gallas or King, a strong leader and organiser, but he’d never get the chance to play with them, as he’s been last in the pecking order so would only play when they were out.

    Samba is very much needed I think.

  19. Good point well made but i still think Samba would be a good player to get in if we did. Kab has become a bit injury prone and perhaps Samba would be that bit more reliable week in week out? I’m not writing Kaboul off, i think he’s class too but i dont think it’s a straight choice between one or the other. Think it would be great to have both as their physicality would give us options us against the stronger forwards who we have struggled against for years, even when Leds plays…

  20. i have to agree with what you have said here,i wasn’t too happy when he left originally but delighted when when we got him back,Kaboul has loads of class and he can only get better,what was holding him back will only help serve to make him better in the future and that is his belief and confidence in his ability.

  21. I was having this exact debate with somebody yesterday so sorry but its a long one. I Love Ledley King, I have challenged many who support different teams out there to tell me a better centre half in WORLD football better than a fully fit Leds, even a half fit Leds and they always come back and say mate you’re dead right… problem is I think Ledleys injuries are a problem to our defence. I think with Kaboul and Bassong (even though dont really rate him that much) they know the competition is slightly unfair which would knock anybodys confidence. Daws is captain, Leds plays if fit, Gallas plays if fit assuming him and king take turns to be injured. I have sang from the rooftops about Kabouls potential. As a centre half you need a manager who has that faith in you to play you in your position on a regular basis, you need the games to improved your positional sense, and leadership responsibility of the defensive line, regular games over a season will iron out the flaws of a young centre back. I think Kaboul could and should be in that top bracket of world defenders because he has everything there, we just need to support him when he plays and it will come together. When Dawson first came he was in my opinion not worthy of any kind of rating, he made catalogues of dodgy decisions that King always swept up for him. That season when Kaboul came, Dawson was ultra reliant on King, you almost knew that without Ledley in the team Dawson would struggle, but over time we had to rely on Dawson and he indeed became the man he is now, not just a defender who is known for his bravery and sticking his head where others would be scared to stick their leg, he actually became a very very sound defender. i definately say we sell Bassong because we cant give that opportunity to two centre halves at the same time and i rate Kaboul more. I sadly would like King only come in during dire emergency when fit, We go with Dawson, Kaboul, Gallas andnas back up King. Rather than see it as who will partner Dawson, let the three of them fight for who is the best partnership, it will bring on Kaboul, improve Dawson even more, and Keep Gallas sharp. Its a hard situation because the predicament we’re in now, success has to be immediate to keep our better players at the club so the manager will want to spend money on players rather than take gambles on potential. I wouldn’t be upset if Samba came in because he is undoubtedly a monster, but it would be sacraficial for Kaboul and I am a big fan of the player. p.s. on the subject of young players and letting them come through in midfield, it seems like Livermore will get opporunities, but what happened to Bostock? Is it time for Harry to knock heads with the kid one last time and see if we can work something out or is he dead wood because of his attitude??? Thanks for reading.

  22. great article, couldnt agree more, think Kaboul has the potential to be a world class CB and am sure we will be relying on him this year, I dont think we need another CB at the club. Corluka can cover as has Huddlestone in the past. we have two young CB out on loan. why pay 10-15m for Samba. he only cost 3m when they brought him. we dont need a beast at the back. our CB are good enough. SAVE THE MONEY FOR FORWARDS

  23. granted we need a striker, but getting in Samba would be benefical to the squad, he is a man mountain! …but most important it is a way of getting rid of keane, bentley, bassong?! otherwise we might not be able to shift em

  24. I am very disapointed with the way the close season has gone in terms of transfers and this confirms my belief that we either a) have no money to spend or b) Redknapp has no clue.

    Maybe the truth is somewhere in between, Am still scratching my head as to why he brought back Keane for 15-16M, only to loan him out and not play him. What a waste of money.

    I’m afraid Redknapp’s days may be numbered.

  25. Good article. He’s definitely come on since his return from Pompey, I think he would really benefit from an extended run in the team.

  26. People forget in the season we finish in the top 4 our defence at home was the best in the league, broke records.

    We just need a world class keeper that will keep teams back cos they know he could punish them with the slightest chance, get a striker in!

  27. Sell the dead wood for realistic fees, Jenas, Bassong, Crouch, Palacios, Bentley, dos Santos etc. That shaves off the wage bill. Have an initial slimline squad, have the kids in the make up the numbers like Rose, Livermore, and the rest. It’s a win-win situation, you have more money at your disposal and the kids will hopefully hold their own. My way of looking at it… a hungry Livermore is more useful than an uninspiring Jenas. Then even if its one or two players who will make a difference make sure they’re better than what you have. I say like everyone else, bring in a world class striker. Also a right winger, keep Lennon on his toes. i dont think we need much change, just someone to set the place alight and a bit of momentum from last season. We finished where we deserved to in the end, and we just missed out on the big prize. It’s no crisis, its just frustrating that the new season is/was upon us in a matter of days and we starting with the same squad as last year. I myself get more frustrated with the players who we cant get rid of rather than us not bringing anyone in.

  28. Couldn’t agree more. kaboul is one of the most improved Spurs player over the past 2 seasons (Bale tops the list) and until he was picked for France, hugely under rated. He is versatile and alongside Daws (in the absence of King) he is looking pretty reliable. Spend the cash on a striker now and any more from the sale of other players (Bassong, Keane, Palacious and any other dead wood) on a long term solution to our unrelaible keeper problem – Freidel is Ok for this year, Gomes is a liability.

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