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Summer window round-up

Posted on 2 September 2008  - 12:00

In January we brought in four international players and this summer saw us add no fewer than eight more...

Summer window round-up

In January we brought in four international players and this summer saw us add no fewer than eight more:

Goalkeepers- Heurelho Gomes, along with former Spanish international goalkeeper Cesar Sanchez.

Defender- Vedran Corluka;

Midfielders- Luka Modric, David Bentley;

Strikers- Roman Pavlyuchenko, Giovani dos Santos and Fraizer Campbell.

Following the conclusion of the summer transfer window Sporting Director Damien Comolli offered his thoughts:

"I think we got a lot of the players we wanted and early. We decided to make these changes because we feel we're beginning a new cycle, so we had to think about building a team with a future, and that's exactly what we've done. We are younger, there is more depth, and we know that everyone we have brought in is absolutely committed to the Club.

"The fact that so many of the players have international experience is a big plus, but it wasn't the Euros that helped us make our decisions. For example, we signed Luka before the Finals. Watching the players on that stage is simply confirmation. It's very important to have international experience in your squad, but these players are young as well. This is exactly what we wanted and Juande likes players who are young and hungry, but who have experience at the same time, especially of playing on the international stage.

"I am particularly disappointed that we were unable to make one additional signing, another experienced striker. The deal was agreed but fell through in the final moments due to agent activity. It is all too often that judgments are made on how these deals are or are not concluded and the reality and the reasoning that happens is often very different and highly unpredictable.

"Two of our new signings, Vedran and Roman are cup-tied for the UEFA Cup and whilst this is not ideal, we shall work with the whole team to produce good performances. We are building a squad for the league and future seasons and we are all looking forward to getting on with playing football now."

David Bentley

The summer transfer window also, however, included transfer requests from two key members of the squad, Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov.

"There are no guarantees in football and this summer we found ourselves having to deal with the unexpected challenge of both our leading goalscorers making it clear they wished to leave the club," commented Chairman, Daniel Levy.

"I have already stated my opinion on the manner in which our players were approached and the nature of the negotiations surrounding Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov. Yesterday's events were further evidence of the need for the Premier League to review the system.

"I have also previously said that we had no need to sell players on long contracts - this no longer remains practical. The decisions we took to allow the transfers of Berbatov and Keane were made after close discussions with the coaching staff. Juande was clear, and I believe correct, in not wishing to embrace any player within the dressing room that had no desire to play for the badge of this club and for his teammates. Under these circumstances we had no option but to sell these players.

"I should hope that fans look at our squad today and acknowledge the undoubted talent and quality of our new signings, but I cannot deny that I share with them a disappointment that we couldn't add further to replace attacking options.

"It has also been the case again that because we have been a buyer in the transfer marketplace we have been subjected to much speculation and our name has been connected to deals and situations that we had nothing to do with; attempts by selling clubs to push the value of players up has also seen us wrongly accused of not wishing to pay certain sums, again unfounded.

"It was always our intention to continue to invest in the team. For the record, our spend this summer was in the region of £77m and we brought in £72m in player sales. We were fully prepared to spend further, but quality players remain hard to secure.

"We would be remiss to allow the departures of two players to overshadow the many exciting talents that joined the Club this summer. I know that there is a terrific team spirit amongst them and that, whilst young, we have a team we believe we can forge into a strong competitive unit."

Roman Pavlyuchenko

We also said farewell to Paul Robinson, Radek Cerny, Tommy Forecast, Pascal Chimbonda, Younes Kaboul, Anthony Gardner, Teemu Tainio, Steed Malbranque, Joe Martin and Young-Pyo Lee.

We wish them well for the future.