ALL THE STAFF at Tottenham are pleased that Peter Crouch has had the strength of mind and determination to progress his career since we agreed to sell him to QPR.
When we sold him in was in the knowledge that he could well eventually become a league standard player, but we genuinely felt that it would take him a few years to progress to that stage.
At that time he was not playing regular reserve team football and we had a surplus of strikers.
Obviously Peter, particularly following his move to Portsmouth, has flourished, but it works both ways. Rory Allen, who was sold for over £1m, has been unable through injury to reach the standards he might have done in league football.
In Peter's case, his 6ft 7" slight and wiry frame gives him an immediate advantage with the aerial ball. But his footballing ability, particularly his control and movement, has impressed managers - not least Graham Taylor.
He has taken his chance to sign Peter before he achieves more and would have fetched a higher price. Graham has always liked this player and in him making the two moves to Portsmouth and Aston Villa Tottenham have benefitted to the tune of over £500,000.
More importantly, Peter has shown there is always another avenue if one path reaches an end.
Ciaran Toner, who had become a regular reserve team player here and developed his play in the last 18 months, was still felt to be someway off being a first team player by the management.
As his contract was expiring at the end of the season, we advised Ciaran that we would allow him to move on a free transfer early if he was able to find a club.
He was able to do that and secured a contract with Bristol Rovers and we will watch his progress with interest. We wish him well.
Director of Football David Pleat offers his thoughts on the big money sale of ex-Spur Peter Crouch from Portsmouth to Aston Villa and wishes Ciaran Toner well in his new surroundings at Bristol Rovers.