Player exchange the best way to balance Spurs’ imperfect squad

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One of the biggest criticisms of the way Tottenham spent their Gareth Bale bounty was how badly their squad became skewed, as wingers and midfielders were paraded in front of the media at regular intervals.

Despite needing a younger deputy than Brad Friedel for Hugo Lloris and an upgrade at full-back, Spurs blindly dabbled in unnecessary purchase after unnecessary purchase last summer.

Thankfully, they are taking steps to correct their errors and are now doing so in the most efficient way possible; through player exchanges.

A swap deal with Swansea that saw Gylfi Sigurdsson, one of the club’s many peripheral wingers, trade places with Ben Davies kicked off what could be a flurry of exchanges to suit the north London club.

By using a transaction method usually reserved for football cards rather than players, Spurs are able to effectively kill two birds with one stone, without incurring too many costs.

After all, the fringe players at Spurs, who are 7/2 for a top-four finish this season, are by no means bargain-bucket offerings.

Sigurdsson is the perfect example of that, as his status at White Hart Lane became the perfect bargaining tool to help the Lilywhites land a long-awaited left-back.

Now the club are looking to bolster the centre of their defence, with Ron Vlaar the target and either Lewis Holtby or Michael Dawson the makeweights in any deal.

Whichever player is sacrificed, it would be a good move for Spurs as the German midfielder was way down the pecking order last season, spending the latter half on loan at Fulham. Dawson, on the other hand, would surely become obsolete if Vlaar was signed with the 30-year-old defender still on the books.

If only the club had hatched this brilliant school playground-inspired ploy when they first sold Bale, they would never have been in this position.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.