Hit or miss: Spurs signings from the Bundesliga
Holly Thackeray | 2 November 2016
Spurs signings from the Bundesliga – hit or miss?
Tottenham (even-money for victory) are paired with Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen in Champions League action on Wednesday, hosting the Germans in a group stage reverse.
Of course, this got Coral writers thinking about Spurs’ links to German football. So, for punters’ perusing pleasure we’ve decided to rate whether talents drafted in directly from Deutschland to White Hart Lane were hits or misses during their time in north London.
Unfortunately this rules out the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann and Rafael van der Vaart – but we’re sure Spurs fans can fill you in on how they feel about that duo!
So, read on as we rate Tottenham’s best and worst buys from the Bundesliga…
If we’ve missed anyone you rate, or don’t, let us know in the comments below!
Steffen Freund (Hit)
Crunching midfielder Freund was more than just a popular fan hero at White Hart Lane, where he helped Tottenham to a Football League Cup in 1999 – at a time when the club were not exactly rolling in trophies with rivals Arsenal and Manchester United dominant.
Spurs (a tempting 3/1 match special with Coral to beat Bayer Leverkusen by two or more goals) could not be accused of having a soft centre in the five seasons Freund patrolled midfield, after transferring from giants Borussia Dortmund in 1998. Renowned for failing to score in his time at Tottenham, the former Germany international was still justly inducted into the Tottenham hall of fame. An uncontested hit.
See Freund’s reaction to Simone Zaza’s Euro 2016 penalty miss:
Dimitar Berbatov (Hit)
Mercurial Bulgarian marksman Berbatov may have sullied his Spurs legacy amid reported sulking and deadline day drama over his protracted move to Manchester United, but he remains a White Hart Lane hit.
Tottenham pulled off a terrific transfer coup when they snatched Berbatov for around £10.9m from upcoming opponents Bayer Leverkusen in 2006, going on to flog him for £30.75m.
Capable of sublime skill, when he felt like it, the forward scored exactly 23 goals in each of his full two seasons at Spurs across all competitions and also bagged a League Cup medal.
Berbatov’s best bits in a Spurs shirt:
Lewis Holtby (Miss)
German football may have brought the Londoners the likes of Berbatov, but is also handed them Holtby. The German wingman arrived in England’s capital amid high expectations, but for a paltry rumoured €1.75 million price tag from Schalke, where his contract was about to expire.
Spurs (50/1 to win the Champions League) were continuing to splurge with a scatter gun approach to try and replace departed superstar Gareth Bale, but Holtby was not the man for the job. A total of four goals in 41 appearances from 2013-2015 means the Germany-capped attacker is a flop for us, despite the odd stunning strike. Now back in the Bundesliga with Hamburg.
Watch as Holtby tackles referee Howard Webb:
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Miss)
It’s strange to label Iceland icon Sigurdsson a miss, as his time in the Premier League can be considered successful with Swansea City – but we’re certain the Nordic star would rather forget his brief stint at Spurs.
Owned by Hoffenheim, Sigurdsson had failed to blossom in the Bundesliga but, having impressed on his first loan at the Liberty Stadium, Spurs swooped ahead of the Swans to land the goalscoring midfielder permanently.
Two troubled terms at Tottenham followed, with the Icelandic hero struggling to make the desired impact with just eight goals in 58 Premier League appearances. So, Spurs sold Sigurdsson to the Swans and rest is history.
There were some highlights for Sigurdsson at Spurs, see them here:
Son Heung-Min (Hit)
We’re going to go out on a limb here and declare Son’s Spurs adventure so far as a hit. Just. Another brought over from Bayer Leverkusen, Son is 11/2 to score first against his former side on London soil.
Back in the Bundesliga, the South Korea forward had dazzled, putting his name on the map with 21 strikes in 62 league outings for Leverkusen and a further 20 in 73 for Hamburg before that.
Brought in as Spurs’ star signing in summer 2015, Son did not shine straight away. But, the East Asian attacking talent is taking England by storm so far in his second term, with five goals in seven games in all competitions.
See Son in action:
Kevin Wimmer (Miss)
Somewhat on the opposite trajectory to Son, young centre back Wimmer made a great start to life at White Hart Lane after his own summer 2015 switch from Cologne.
The defender drew praise whenever filling in for mainstays Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, and looked an important puzzle piece for years to come. Yet, this season Austria-capped Wimmer has inexplicably slipped down the pecking order, somehow making just two EFL Cup outings.
Whether Wimmer will get more game time remains to be seen but he doesn’t look like fitting in Mauricio Pochettino’s plans at the moment.
Watch as Wimmer takes on the Spurs Foot Pool Challenge:
What do you think of Spurs signings from the Bundesliga? Hit or miss? Let us know below.