When flying around the twists and turns of the summer transfer market helter-skelter, it can be hard to ascertain the truth of which players your club is actually chasing.
However, one transfer theme that did seem to arise last summer was that Tottenham Hotspur would take a long, hard look at a player, before watching them instead move to West Ham.
In particular, both Alex Song and Cheikhou Kouyate were linked with a switch to north London before heading east, and in both cases Spurs fans have reason to be aggrieved at their club’s decision, or indeed indecision, in letting them go to the Irons.
Kouyate and Song have enjoyed excellent seasons with the Hammers, and each could have been a useful asset in a Spurs side that often lacked nous and a physical presence in the middle of the park.
Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason were Mauricio Pochettino’s centre-midfield pairing of choice, but with neither a true midfield stopper, and both still learning their trade, the Lilywhites were often left far too open.
Never was this more the case than when Manchester United waltzed through the centre of their team time after time in the 3-0 win at Old Trafford that effectively ended Spurs’ top-four pretensions.
You’d imagine that either Kouyate or Song would have done more to halt United’s attacks, especially the latter, who averaged the joint-fifth most tackles in the Premier League per game with 3.3 last term.
Both men would also have been a darn sight more useful than Benjamin Stambouli, the defensive midfielder Spurs did end up signing, who managed just 454 minutes of league action.
Unfortunately, the Lilywhites do not seem to have learned from their mistakes, as from being the hot favourites to sign Marseille’s Andre Ayew, they are now reportedly on the brink of watching him move to the Irons.
The Ghanaian is 2/1 to be a West Ham player come the end of the window, with Spurs priced at 3/1 to secure his signature and Liverpool 6/1.
The 25-year-old, who can operate in a number of positions, scored ten goals in 27 Ligue 1 appearances this season, is an experienced international and looks a natural fit for Pochettino’s system.
To cap it all off Ayew is also available on a free after running down his contract with Marseille. Surely Spurs cannot afford to let their London rivals beat them to the punch once again?