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Farewell to Sandro (and others)

A beating heart is hard to replace

Spurs did more business on transfer deadline day than has been seen in recent years, but the only incoming player (on the day) was French under-21 defensive midfielder Benjamin Stambouli from Montpelier.

Stambouli is just 24, having celebrated his birthday in August, and clearly fulfils the Spurs criteria of signing young talent with the ideal objective of success at the club, and profit at the end of the player's time at Tottenham.

Spurs fans know little about Stambouli, but he certainly said all the right things yesterday when he was pictured at the training ground, about which he naturally enthused.

Stambouli is a defensive midfield player, but can also play at the heart of the defence. He's been a 90 minute player for Montpelier over the last year whenever he has played, and that has been for 37 league games last season, and 2 already this season.

Stambouli's discipline record isn't at all bad either for a defensive player, having been shown just three yellow cards last season. He also chips in with a goal now and again, having scored two in the league, and one after 120 minutes of a French League Cup game. Stambouli appears to have plenty fo stamina, and I am sure we can look forward to seeing him at Sunderland on September 15th.

One assumes that Stambouli is a direct replacement for fans' favourite Sandro, who has departed for Harry Redknapp's QPR.

As I tweeted last night, I am so sorry to see Sandro go. He's a player that loved our club, and our fans, who loved him back relentlessly. Sandro was not called "The Beast" for nothing. He always displayed heart, and un-restrained passion.

Stambouli, I suspect, is perhaps a more refined and therefore a different type of footballer, but he has a big hole to fill in the hearts of Spurs fans, who have seen two other favourites depart.

I wrote elsewhere about the departure of club captain Michael Dawson to Hull. I was honest too about his abilities. Some of his frailties could be seen in the Aston Villa v Hull game on Sunday.

Effectively, we have also said "Goodbye" to Lewis Holtby, bought for 1.5 million from Schalke in the January 2013 transfer window; loaned last January to Fulham; and now loaned "with a view to a permanent transfer" to Hamburg. That's not a phrase often seen in the context of a loan deal, so we can assume that Spurs will be selling at a profit next summer.

Lewis had a great cameo debut at Norwich in January 2013, immediately winning the hearts of Spurs fans. However, it wasn't long before he was reduced to something of a bit part role, and whilst he didn't always deliver, his passion for the club was always evident. Just last week, he was seen on the touchline enthusiastically celebrating Adebayor's goal against QPR, which made it 4-0.

Spurs have let a handful of young players go their ways yesterday, with Jonathan Obika finally getting a permanent transfer to Swindown, where he will join other former Academy players such as Jack Barthram, Nathan Byrne, Yasser Kasim and Massimo Luongo. It really is quite an old Spurs club there!

Souleymane Coulibaly, who Spurs fans hoped would be the "new Drogba" has gone on a permanent deal to Bari, joined by Tomislav Gomelt, who is on loan only.

The other relatively high profile departure yesterday was left back Zeki Fryers, over whom Sir Alex Ferguson wasn't best pleased when Fryers left United for Standard Liege, before coming to Tottenham, where he has struggled to make a real impact. Fryers has gone to Crystal Palace, and Spurs have probably made a quick profit on him too.

I have written elsewhere about our other new signings Eric Dier and Federico Fazio.

Regarding Sandro, he has been signed for the second time by Harry Redknapp, who signed him for Tottenham in 2010. Sandro was given his debut at Fulham in October 2010, where I wrote "made a good impression, adding some bite to a flair-filled Spurs side, and spraying some good early passes around". He also got booked and was replaced as a precaution at half-time. This perhaps is a bit of a clue as to why he is being allowed to go.

Sandro's discipline record says a lot about his playing style, which perhaps is too "gung-ho" for some coaches. Pochettino hasn't been the first to have reservations about him remember. Tim Sherwood preferred Bentaleb last season. Sandro has been shown the yellow card 20 times over 4 seasons, and that is just in his 40 Premier League starts. He's seen another three or four in other games.

Last season, Sandro got 9 yellow cards, and he rarely played 90 minutes. In 8 games since February this year, he was booked 6 times, and played 90 minutes in just two of those games. Perhaps there has been something else going on behind the scenes. Injuries have also prevented Tottenham Hotspur's Brazilian Yiddo" from playing anything near a full season in his four years at Tottenham.

Mind you, we could have done with some of Sandro's passion last Sunday against Liverpool. Spurs fans are upset because a beating heart is hard to replace. Sandro will be sorely missed by those in the stands. His replacement has to win over his new fans very quickly. of course, I wish him well.

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