THE BLOG

Summer Signings Helping Spurs Succeed

04/03/2013 15:45 GMT | Updated 04/05/2013 10:12 BST

Gareth Bale may be the name on everyone's lips, or newspaper, app, radio or however else you keep up to date with football. While his recent run of form has been breathtaking, it's worth mentioning three players - all of whom arrived in the summer - who have been just as important.

Hugo Lloris

Eyebrows were raised in some quarters when Tottenham splashed out on the French 'keeper in the summer, given they had one of the most consistent and reliable goalkeepers around on the books in the form of the seemingly ageless Brad Friedel. Those eyebrows were raised further when he was continuously left on the bench.

Well, it's probably time for those who haven't already to lower them. The decision to install Lloris between the sticks has helped lay the foundation for Spurs' great form of late, with the former-Lyon man proving himself one of, if not the best in the league.

He's an excellent shot-stopper, and commands his area pretty well, but perhaps the most important aspect of his game, and why he's been a better fit than Friedel, is his willingness to come off his line - and ability to do so - and act as a 'sweeper 'keeper'. He's the last line of their (high) defence, and an increasingly impressive one at that.

Jan Vertonghen

While I'm fairly convinced the defender is related to AVB, or perhaps shares a hairdresser with the Portuguese, there's no doubting he's proved an excellent signing for Tottenham.

With much focus on Arsenal's high-defensive line that was so easily exploited by Spurs, the Belgian was a big factor in why the Gunners could not do the same to their rival's own defence, who were similarly pushed up.

Vertonghen's awareness means he's less likely to be caught out a la Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen, something backed up by the fact that he averages 3 interceptions per game (7th highest in the league (Mertesacker and Vermaelen, for what it's worth, average 1.7 and 1.8 respectively)). He's also very comfortable at bringing the ball out of defence, and - while he hasn't quite repeated the goalscoring exploits he managed at Ajax just yet - he has shown himself to be a goal threat.

Moussa Dembele:

Signed from Fulham for £15m, the midfielder isn't by any means the biggest Belgian in the league (in terms of reputation, height, hair or price-tag), but he's certainly one of the most effective.

Providing a link between defence and attack, Dembele's form has been one of the key components of Tottenham's good season. He's in the top 20 players - not just midfielders - in the league when it comes to tackles per game, passes per game and key passes. Currently he is 6th overall in terms of pass completion.

Obviously it's easy to point to such statistics out of context, and much like YouTube clips they don't tell the full story of a player's ability, but his passing, movement, ability to create and screen the back four do, especially as in the absence of Sandro he's had to play slightly deeper. He's been a big player thus far, and arguably all he needs to do is add a few goals to his game to start getting the acclaim his compatriots Marouane Fellaini and Eden Hazard do.