Benjamin Stambouli Signing Marks a Quieter Transfer Window for Tottenham Hotspur

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Benjamin Stambouli Signing Marks a Quieter Transfer Window for Tottenham Hotspur
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Benjamin Stambouli joined late in the transfer window, but was the exception in a summer where most of Tottenham's business was done early.

At 5:24 pm GMT on transfer deadline day, Tottenham Hotspur announced the signing of Benjamin Stambouli from Montpellier.

With several hours still to go at the time of writing before the transfer window closed, Tottenham may have ended up adding more to their ranks. Yet barring an unexpected influx of more than a couple of players weighing it in another direction, Spurs' summer business has largely been marked by the promptness with which it has been conducted.

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Mauricio Pochettino has been able to enjoy a relatively peaceful first summer as Spurs manager.

In part this has been because of a clearly established idea of what was wanted.

New manager Mauricio Pochettino inherited a crowded squad, and given the mandate to improve much of what was already there, he and the club's hierarchy have sought to trim it where thought necessary (chiefly in midfield with the sales of Jake Livermore and Gylfi Sigurdsson) and augment it with swiftly identified targets.

They may have missed out on some—possibly Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin, for instance—but the squad's main areas in need of addressing have been suitably dealt with before the season was underway.

Ben Davies' recruitment during July's North American tour quickly resolved the squad's need for Premier League-level depth at left-back. Though not as pressing an issue, the signing of Davies' Swansea City team-mate, goalkeeper Michel Vorm, answered the question of whom Spurs wanted to replace 43-year-old Brad Friedel in competing with Hugo Lloris.

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Gareth Bale's sale to Real Madrid may have earned Spurs good money, but the process undoubtedly unsettled the club in summer 2013.

Eric Dier arrived from Sporting Lisbon to add further to Pochettino's defensive options. A deal for Seattle Sounders right-back DeAndre Yedlin to join for 2015-16 was also agreed upon.

With that said, it should be noted Spurs also benefited from the general lack of rumours around their own players compared to the previous two frantic summers.

Last year, while others had come earlier, Vlad Chiriches, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela were only signed at the end of August when the long-anticipated Gareth Bale-Real Madrid transfer was finally negotiated.

It was a similar situation in 2012 when Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and Hugo Lloris arrived late in the day. On that occasion it was after Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart were sold to Los Blancos and Hamburg respectively.

Deals for many of those targets were ultimately reliant on funds coming in for the big money sales of Bale and Modric especially. While the handsome compensation gave Spurs scope to manoeuvre, the summer-long speculation over those players provided an unsettling backdrop to then-manager Andre Villas-Boas' preparations.

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Late summer departures of players like Michael Dawson and Lewis Holtby have been on Tottenham's terms this year.

Pochettino has not been entirely without transfer scuttlebutt to deal with. But the sale of Michael Dawson to Hull City that freed up space for last week's signing, Sevilla defender Federico Fazio, was more on his own terms. As too has been the deadline-day loan departure of Lewis Holtby to Hamburg which has helped make room for Stambouli.

The versatile Frenchman comes across as a final piece of the puzzle purchase (in terms of this early phase in Pochettino's tenure), rather than a panic buy.

Last April Bleacher Report's Allan Jiang described Stambouli as a "dynamic and forceful footballer who is primarily a defensive midfielder, but can slot in at centre-back and left-back." Spurs are not currently short in any of those positions, but the prospect for a versatile performer—certainly highly regarded by Jiang—adding to his manager's resources is no bad thing.

The long-term success of the summer's purchases will obviously only become apparent with time. But the club have equipped their new head coach with what, so far at least, appears to be an acceptable standard of player for him to work with as he settles at Spurs. The Argentinian can now focus fully on making a team out of them.

Tottenham will not always have it so quiet ahead of the season, as those recent years have shown. Pochettino and his club colleagues should take a moment to appreciate a more measured window than they are perhaps likely to experience again at White Hart Lane.

Then again, if talk about their players means Spurs are doing things right, they might (somewhat reluctantly) hope to be warding off plenty of interested suitors come this time next year.

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