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Spurs Are Genuine Proof That Throwing Money Around Isn't The Only Way To Assemble A Top Class Team

20/04/2017 16:52 BST | Updated 21/04/2017 09:49 BST
Reuters Staff / Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur are the Premier League's form team right now. They've won seven straight games, the last two by thumping 4-0 score-lines, have the best defence in the league, and only a single goal is keeping them and being the most prolific scorers as well.

In Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs have one of the most exciting young managers in Europe. The Argentine has implemented strong tactics without compromising a brand of attracting football, and has knitted together a superb and harmonious unit.

Sharp recruitment and scouting, as well as fierce negotiation from chairman Daniel Levy, has been a cornerstone of Spurs' continued development over the last few seasons. When considering the total cost of putting together the starting XI that thrashed Bournemouth at the weekend, the club is genuine proof that huge sums of money is not always the answer.

Spurs paid £104m for the team that started at White Hart Lane on Saturday. Had it been their strongest side it would have cost less at £94m, with Ben Davies adding £10m to the total in place of the home-grown (free) Danny Rose, who is currently injured.

Harry Kane and Dele Alli have scored 36 Premier League goals between them this season, providing a further 10 assists. Kane, of course, came at no cost from the youth ranks, while Alli set the club back just £5m when he arrived from MK Dons in 2015.

When Manchester City are paying £30m a time for the likes of Nicolas Otamendi and the now out-on-loan Eliaquim Mangala, it's incredible that Spurs could have paid just £20.5m for the privilege of having both Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen as a centre-back pairing.

Eric Dier was plucked from Sporting CP for just £4m, while Son Heung-min is the only player in Spurs' best XI to cost more than £20m. Mousa Dembele was the next most expensive in Saturday's line-up at £15m - relative small fry given the big budgets that top clubs enjoy today.

Compared with Tottenham's £104m team, Manchester City's weekend line-up cost nearly three times as much at just under £280m. When one considers that expensive acquisitions like Raheem Sterling and John Stones (close to £50m each) weren't starters, that figure could easily have been far greater as well.

The Manchester United side that beat Chelsea on Sunday cost £254m to assemble. It was a starting XI that included two home-grown players in Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard and, again, could have been stronger had the likes of Juan Mata (£37m) or Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£26m) been involved.

That Chelsea team, meanwhile, was assembled for a shade over £212m, with David Luiz, Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante each snapped up for £30m or more.

The Arsenal side that got the better of Middlesbrough on Monday cost over £184m. To make a similar point once more, with £2m Rob Holding standing in for £35m Shkodran Mustafi it could also have been a far more expensive team had the Gunners been at full strength.

Liverpool's XI that narrowly beat West Brom was also a more expensive side than Spurs at £128.75m. The absence of £20m captain Jordan Henderson detracted from the overall cost and would have seen it climb higher at full strength.

Spurs, of course have their own £30m players like Erik Lamela and Moussa Sissoko, but neither is part of the club's strongest team nor were they starters at the weekend. The fact that Spurs should be outperforming the rest, as well as looking strong for the future, is a testament to the incredibly intelligent recruiting and sublime coaching behind the scenes.