Belfast Telegraph

AVB: Spurs' dealing trumps Gunners'

Andre Villas-Boas thinks Tottenham have done a better job in the transfer market than Arsenal despite their rivals' capture of Mesut Ozil.

After a summer of abstinence, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger finally opened his cheque book on transfer deadline day to sign Germany midfielder Ozil for £42.5million from Real Madrid.

Although Spurs have lost Gareth Bale to the Spanish giants, they have reinvested the money quickly, signing seven international players at a cost of over £100million.

Roberto Soldado has made an immediate impact, scoring four goals in four, while there is huge excitement among the club's fans about the potential of 21-year-old Erik Lamela and former Ajax midfielder Christian Eriksen, who cost £11.5million.

The spending from Spurs and Manchester City significantly outweighed that of their rivals and Villas-Boas thinks that means he is in a stronger position than those around him, including Arsenal boss Wenger.

"All of us have done good business in the transfer window, but Manchester City and us maybe a little bit more than Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool," the Tottenham manager said.

"We are happy with what we have done in the transfer window, extremely happy.

"Arsenal did a great last-minute coup with Ozil but they will be as competitive as they were before."

Although Villas-Boas is a fan of Ozil's ability, he admits the Gunners paid a big price for a player who usually operates in a position where Arsenal are strong in numbers.

"He is a wonderful, gifted footballer and in the end Arsenal paid heavily for a player of that dimension," Villas-Boas said.

"It's a 50million euro transfer for a number 10 that nobody has any doubt over his ability. They have lots of players for that position also but they have become even stronger with Ozil."

Some had speculated that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had delayed Bale's move to the Bernabeu as he was worried that the nine-time European champions would be persuaded to sell some of their players to clubs like Arsenal - as happened with Ozil - to balance the books.

It is unlikely that Real would have sold Ozil had they not bought Bale, but Villas-Boas was diplomatic on the issue.

"The fact that Real Madrid sold him to Arsenal for that price, we can't say anything - we are happy with what we have and Real Madrid are happy," he said.

There is no doubt that Villas-Boas is happy with the work that Levy and new technical director Franco Baldini have done in replacing a man who scored 26 goals for the club last term.

Tottenham ran out of steam towards the end of last season, again surrendering the final Champions League qualification spot to Arsenal after injuries and fatigue took their toll.

But with real strength in depth now in his squad, Villas-Boas thinks Spurs have a better chance of finishing inside the top four.

"This is a squad with great potential which has the ability to achieve our objectives that we couldn't last season," Villas-Boas said.

"At the moment, we are trying to do that - to put these players together and find a style in our play that brings out the best potential of each individual. That is the main objective.

"What we have improved on from last season is the individual quality we have on board and all the players are striving with big motivation to achieve it [Champions League football]."


From Belfast Telegraph