MoneyBale: What happened to Tottenham Hotspur's £109m signings of 2013?
- Tottenham spent £109m on new signings in 2013 following the sale of Gareth Bale. Now only one remains - but how did they fare?
When Tottenham Hotspur sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 for a then-world record fee of £85m, it was made clear quite quickly that the money would be available to then-Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas in order to reinforce his squad – and the Portuguese boss did just that, splashing out around £109m on 7 new players.
Unfortunately for Villas-Boas, the signings did not really pay off – for the most part – and a famous taunt suggested that Spurs had “sold an iPhone, and bought a calculator, a camera, a phone and an alarm clock”.
Christian Eriksen departure from North London this week now means that of the 7 players signed by Spurs in the summer of 2013, only Erik Lamela remains. Here is a look at each of the players signed following the departure of Bale – and how they fared at the club.
The first man to be signed during Andre Villas-Boas’ spending spree, Spurs broke their own transfer record by paying £17m to bring in Brazilian midfielder Paulinho from Corinthians. Hopes were high for the box-to-box midfielder at Tottenham, particularly as his signing came just weeks after he’d helped Brazil to their triumph in the 2013 Confederations Cup, scoring 2 goals including the winner in the semi-final against Uruguay.
The Brazilian’s Spurs career got off to a tremendous start; he was named Man of the Match in their opening day victory over Crystal Palace, and then scored 3 times in his first 8 appearances for the club, including a last-minute winner in a match against Cardiff City.
Unfortunately, things went downhill for Paulinho after he was sent off during a 0-5 loss to Liverpool. When he returned after suspension, Villas-Boas had been fired and replaced by Tim Sherwood, and while he was able to end the season with 7 league goals, he struggled to really impress and was then largely frozen out by Mauricio Pochettino in his second season at the club, starting just 3 matches in the Premier League.
With his Spurs career clearly over, the Brazilian was sold to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande in the summer of 2015 for a fee of £9.9m – and from there his career surprisingly got back on track, as he moved to Barcelona for the 2017-18 season and helped them to a La Liga title before returning to China one season later.