Cast your mind back to 2013, and it was perhaps the craziest summer Tottenham have ever had.
That gave Spurs money to spend and they were happy to oblige, splashing out on seven players who became affectionately, or ironically, known, as the ‘Magnificent Seven’.
This summer, the last of those players, Erik Lamela, left the club. So, eight years and 903 appearances later, it’s time to take a retrospective look at the contributions of the ‘Magnificent Seven’.
Ah Bobby Soldier… what a lovely place to start. To be fair, when Tottenham signed Soldado it looked like a safe bet.
The Spaniard had established himself as one of the most prolific goal-getters in La Liga for Valencia.
He pretty much left that form in Spain, though, managing only seven goals in 52 Premier League appearances for Spurs.
They cut their losses in 2015 and somehow managed to recoup a reported £10million from Villarreal for him.
It didn’t really work out for him there either, and he has had similar uninspiring spells at Fenerbache and Granada before landing at Levante this summer.
The Brazilian was signed from Corinthians and arrived amid comparisons with Frank Lampard for his goalscoring ability from midfield.
With just 10 goals in 67 games for Spurs, it’s fair to say he completely failed to live up to that billing, although it would be unfair to judge him purely on goals.
Like Soldado, he only stuck around for two years before joining what was then something of an exodus of Brazilian talent to China, linking up with Guangzhou Evergrande.
Barcelona brought him back to Europe in 2017, where he won the double, but he was quickly back off to Guangzhou Evergrande again.
Following his release from the Chinese side this summer, he chased the money again and signed for Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli.
On paper, this one looked a fine addition. Then again, I suppose they all do.
Capoue was establishing a very good reputation for himself in France as a physical yet elegant midfield player who could also operate at centre-back. He was a good age, and the fee was relatively modest.
Some may argue that, with just 24 Premier League matches in two years, Capoue was never really given a fair chance by Spurs. Others may point to the fact that he did little more than okay in a six-year spell with Watford after leaving White Hart Lane.
Since leaving Watford, he has become a Europa League winner with Villarreal, for whom he put in a man-of-the-match performance in the 2021 final against Manchester United.
If any of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ were signed to directly replace Bale, then it was Lamela.
He arrived from Roma with a big reputation, and many respected analysts went on record at the time saying the fee for the Argentine represented ‘a steal’ for Spurs.
Lamela did not, of course, achieve the heights that Bale did at Tottenham, but it’s unlikely he was ever going to.
What he did do was contribute – regularly, and over a sustained period of time. The winger made over 250 appearances for Spurs in an eight-year stay, scoring 37 goals. Two of them were even rabonas.
Of the seven players signed with the Bale money, Lamela stayed the longest, so he can’t – and shouldn’t – be dismissed, even if he didn’t achieve what was hoped from him in north London.
There can be little doubt that Eriksen was the standout from the ‘Magnificent Seven’.
The Danish star had been passed up by a few top clubs over concerns that he lacked the pace and physicality to make it at the very top, and Tottenham were able to get him from Ajax for a decent fee.
It was not a decision they ever regretted, with Eriksen playing more than 300 matches for the club, scoring nearly 70 goals. He also won the club’s Player of the Year award twice and was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in 2018.
Although he slowly fell out of favour, last season he proved he was still an elite-level performer by helping Inter Milan to the Serie title.
In all honesty, Nacer Chadli felt like a little bit of an afterthought for Tottenham that summer.
He was the cheapest of the seven, and managed to stick around for three seasons, although he never really established himself as a part of the Spurs side.
He moved onto West Brom and produced another two forgettable Premier League seasons before heading off to Monaco in 2018.
Since then he has had a loan spell back home in Anderlecht and currently plies his trade in Turkey for Istanbul Basaksehir
Chiriches was definitely the left-field signing of the seven, and it’s fair to say he was something of an unknown quantity when he arrived from Steaua Bucharest.
He was kind of alright and is perhaps judged more kindly due to the low expectations with which he arrived.
The Romanian wasn’t especially memorable though, and Spurs lost almost half their money on him when he left to join Napoli after two seasons.
Chiriches was a bit of a punt that didn’t really work out, and he now plays for Sassuolo in Serie A.