It seems Tottenham may not have sold Elvis and bought The Beatles after all, but director of football Franco Baldini’s Gareth Bale-sale inspired spending spree wasn’t nearly as profligate as the papers would have you believe.
Spurs have it all to do at Benfica in their Europa League last-16 second-leg clash, having gone down 3-1 at home in the first leg, but it would be folly to rule out an away win at 13/4 with the first name on our list of positive summer captures in tow.
By far the easiest of Baldini’s signings to make a case for, the classy £10m man has done as much as any player to keep the White Hart Lane faithful as on side as possible this season.
Indeed, the boo boys were in full throat when Eriksen was taken off with Spurs in need of a goal in their last match against Arsenal and it’s not hard to see why.
The attacking-midfielder had bagged four goals in his last seven games at Tottenham HQ prior to that 1-0 defeat, which included a brace of brilliant free-kicks in Europa League matches against Dnipro and Benfica.
Boss Tim Sherwood will need all of Eriksen’s guile if his team are to defy 11/1 odds on them overturning a 3-1 home defeat against the Eagles to qualify for the next stage.
The 42-cap Dane is 11/1 to bag the opener at the Stadio de Luz and 13/4 to score at any time against ‘crazy’ Jorge Jesus’ men.
The former Benfica youth player has been desperately unlucky with injuries, while being paired with snail-paced centre-half Michael Dawson in 15 of the 19 fixtures he has started hasn’t helped his Premier League transition.
However, the Romanian arrived at White Hart Lane with a huge reputation, augmented by quotes attributed to Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho that the Portuguese would have signed him when in charge of Real Madrid if he’d been a couple of inches taller.
Spurs kept clean sheets in each of the first five games Chiriches started and if the north Londoners can add a beanpole centre-half – such as Inter Milan giant Andrea Ranocchia – to their defensive ranks this summer, the £8.5m summer signing from Steaua Bucharest could yet flourish on English shores.
The French international has become some sort of fantasy fall guy since being partnered out of position next to Dawson in Andre Villas-Boas’ last stand as Lilywhites coach – the 5-0 home thumping from Liverpool.
Back in the real world, Spurs have triumphed in 67 per cent of their matches this season when Capoue has played and 52 per cent of their fixtures without the summer signing from Toulouse in the team.
Rafa Benitez’s Napoli were sniffing around the 25-year-old holding-midfielder in January, which suggests that – contrary to Sherwood’s belief – he should be played ahead of youngster Nabil Bentaleb, who’s appeared in six of Spurs’ last seven matches and has ended up on the losing side in five of those games.