Luka Modric has left for Real Madrid, so what now for Tottenham?

 

There was little time for reflection or remembrance at White Hart Lane yesterday. Luka Modric, Tottenham Hotspur's most artful player since David Ginola, joined Real Madrid for £30m on a five-year deal. There will be a time to look back on Modric's contribution to Spurs but for now there is a four-day rush to find a replacement.

Andre Villas-Boas, speaking at the end of last week, knowing that Modric was soon to leave Spurs, demanded that the club make the most of the aftermath: "We just have to be able to act straight away after that."

Since then the Spurs manager has seen his team lose the lead in their home game against West Bromwich Albion. James Morrison's equaliser in added time meant that Villas-Boas's first two games have brought just one point. Playing a 4-2-3-1 system, with Jake Livermore and Sandro at the base, Tottenham have lacked imagination through the middle as well as the ability to see out results, two things which Modric's intelligence and control brought to the side.

No team can lose a player of Modric's ability and not suffer. Clearly, Tottenham will have to act quickly to recruit a replacement. Scott Parker, of course, will be back from his Achilles injury soon, but he is from the same category of destructive midfielders as Sandro and Livermore.

Spurs need to replace, as far as possible, Modric's brain and touch. The first choice was Joao Moutinho, whom Villas-Boas managed at Porto. But the new Tottenham coach admitted last week it would be almost impossible to tempt him to north London. "He is an excellent player, but it is an extremely difficult deal," Villas-Boas sighed. "He has become a player with other types of market so it is difficult for Tottenham. The player has overtaken the price that Tottenham can achieve."

If Moutinho cannot be signed, an alternative is Rennes' 22-year-old midfielder Yann M'Vila, an old target of Arsenal. Spurs have reportedly bid £12.7m for the France international, who is not quite as creative as Moutinho but would improve their passing and prompting. Further up the pitch there is still interest in Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazil forward Willian. Spurs are said to have had a bid of £11.8m rejected for the 24-year-old, who is a more likely candidate to play behind the lone striker, either wide or in the middle, rather than in the heart of midfield.

Should Tottenham have any spare time or money this week, they may well move for another goalkeeper. The Lyons president, Jean-Michel Aulas, said on Sunday Spurs had been in touch again concerning France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who is quicker than the current No 1 Brad Friedel and 15 years younger. There is a core of a very good team at Tottenham but that £30m must be well-spent before Friday night.

 



Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate