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Tottenham Hotspur's Lack of Killer Instinct in the Market Exposed by Near-Misses

SEGOVIA, SPAIN - JULY 16:  David Villa of Atletico de Madrid after his first training session with the club at the Los Angeles de San Rafael training ground on July 16, 2013 in El Espinar, Segovia, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Trent ScottAnalyst IIIJuly 18, 2013

Being slow of foot is one thing when it comes to selling a player. Being slow of foot when buying a player, however, is a risky proposition that Tottenham have been caught out by in recent weeks.

With the will-he-won’t-he movement of Christian Benteke heading toward an unpleasant point based on Telegraph and Mirror reports, Daniel Levy has not escaped some flak in recent days. Considering James Nursey of the Mirror's belief that Benteke would prefer that Spurs get a deal done this week, the stories below are relevant in a way that might cause the Belgian to take pause.

The Mirror relates quotes from both David Villa and Tin Jedvaj after both—linked heavily with Spurs—made moves to cities not named London.

It will not be lost on anyone how both moves collapsed. Villa and Jedvaj both iterated that their new clubs—Atletico Madrid and Roma respectively—simply made moves with intent, not waiting around and trying to grind down a price.

Villa’s take was pretty straightforward:

"It is true the idea was for me to go to the Premier League, because the biggest offers came from there.

"But then Atletico Madrid showed up and they did more in three days than others did in months."

Jedvaj had a similar take on proceedings:

"In the last weeks, there had been a strong interest from Tottenham, but Roma did a strong negotiation and now I'm happy to be in this group."

Both are pretty stinging criticisms of the way Tottenham went about the business of attempting to acquire both players. Andre Villas-Boas would be stung most by Villa’s admission, seeing as the Spurs head coach made contact with Villa to persuade the Spaniard to make the move to England.

This, then, brings us back around to the Benteke issue.

Aston Villa have been straightforward about their intentions with the Belgian hit man and have been playing the issue perfectly. A big transfer fee, a threat to fine Benteke starting Thursday and a World Cup year all conspire to make it very difficult for the player to force the issue too hard.

Of course, as Metro writer Danny Griffiths also points out, Villa might be persuaded to take less than their £26 million evaluation—as long as Tottenham cut them 25 percent of a sell-on fee.

It’s probably not a stretch to think that Levy likes to deal from a position of power, and this is the kind of offer that probably drives him up a tree. Yet because of his grinding in other deals, Tottenham have found themselves in a position where the need heavily outweighs the typical policy.

It’s pretty well known that Tottenham have a good track record when it comes to transfer value. Rarely, however, have Spurs made major risk signings.

Emmanuel Adebayor might be one, and it is this experience that probably hinders Levy from making these kinds of moves.

With Sky Sports briefly noting that Besiktas’ appeal over a European ban was dismissed, the only concrete potential destination given for the Togo forward to date has effectively been snuffed out. This will not help and may in fact scupper a move for Benteke if Spurs cannot move Adebayor’s wages off the books.

Such trepidations in the transfer market, however, are blocking the central tenant to Tottenham’s push toward the Champions League. At some point, Spurs have to make a move on the forward position, and waiting until things move into their control again might have more consequences down the road.

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