IN 2013, Spurs were forced to blow up their squad following the world-record sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
The Welshman had netted 26 goals in the previous campaign, sweeping the Premier League’s various individual awards ahead of the likes of Luis Suarez and Eden Hazard.
Spurs recruited the ‘Magnificent Seven’ in the summer of 2013
Gareth Bale was unveiled at Real Madrid in September 2013Credit: AFP
But there was a problem – Tottenham missed out on Champions League qualification by a point.
Daniel Levy was bullish that he could keep his star asset, but Real Madrid turned on their charm offensive and it soon became just a matter of when, not if.
So Spurs got busy, signing seven new players for more than £100million – as the line went, they’d ‘sold Elvis, and signed The Beatles’.
But while Bale was off winning four Champions Leagues with Madrid, Spurs’ new signings were producing contrasting performances.
So let’s take a look at what became of the ‘Magnificent Seven’.
ROBERTO SOLDADO – £26m
Spurs thought that they had secured a prolific goalscorer in SoldadoCredit: Action Images – Reuters
Soldado, 36, has recently joined Levante from LaLiga rivals GranadaCredit: AFP OR LICENSORS
Spaniard Soldado was probably the most exciting of the acquisitions, when he arrived from Valencia for £26m, fresh from wowing at the Confederations Cup and banging in 24 goals in LaLiga.
Despite no lack of trying, his time at White Hart Lane was a disaster, however, as he only managed seven goals in 52 Premier League appearances – with five of them coming from the penalty spot.
Levy did manage to squeeze £10m out of Villarreal for his services in 2015, and he has since played for Fenerbahce and Granada.
Now 36, he has linked up with Spanish top-flight Levante on a two-year deal after bagging nine goals in 29 appearances last season.
PAULINHO – £17m
The Brazilian struggled to make an impact at SpursCredit: Getty – Contributor
Paulinho, who has just joined Saudi side Al-Ahli, has enjoyed success at Guangzhou EvergrandeCredit: AFP or licensors
Another that arrived off the back of a stellar Confederations Cup, Spurs fans thought they were getting ‘the Brazilian Frank Lampard‘ when Paulinho arrived in N17.
Initial performances were steady, with a late back-heeled winner at Cardiff prompting pandemonium among the travelling supporters.
Things went downhill very quickly, however, with Paulinho being red carded in Andre Villas-Boas’ final game in charge, before becoming a nervous wreck barely capable of completing a five-yard pass by the end.
He was offered a career lifeline by Chinese Super League giants Guangzhou Evergrande, where he became a big star – via a very strange, if not totally unsuccessful year at Barcelona.
Paulinho, 33, recently linked up with Saudi side Al-Ahli on a deal until 2024.
VLAD CHIRICHES – £8m
The Romanian struggled to cut down on his mistakes at TottenhamCredit: Bradley Ormesher – The Sun
A considerably scarier-looking Chiriches now turns out for Sassuolo in Serie ACredit: Reuters
Fans were excited at Chiriches’ arrival, as they thought they’d unearthed a hidden gem from Steaua Bucharest, with a penchant for playing the ball out from the back.
And while he was very laid back, it often proved to be to the team’s detriment, as his casual style tended to gift opponents easy goals, while leaving fans’ hearts in their mouths.
Like Soldado and Paulinho, Chiriches lasted two seasons at the Lane, before being shipped off to Napoli.
The Romanian managed just 48 appearances across four seasons at San Paulo, before joining Sassuolo on loan two years ago – before making it permanent for just shy of £10m last summer.
NACER CHADLI – £7m
Chadli became a useful player in his three years at SpursCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
One of the more successful acquisitions of that summer, Chadli became a popular figure at Spurs despite an underwhelming start.
The Belgian joined from FC Twente, having scored against Tottenham home and away in the 2010-11 Champions League campaign.
But it was not until his second season that he really began to shine, scoring 13 goals as Mauricio Pochettino began to transform the club’s fortunes.
He left for West Brom in 2017, eventually joining Istanbul Basaksehir last summer, via stints at Monaco and Anderlecht.
ETIENNE CAPOUE – £9m
Etienne Capoue struggled to make a big impact at SpursCredit: PA:Empics Sport
Capoue helped Villarreal beat Manchester United in the Europa League final in MayCredit: Getty – Pool
Neither wildly awful nor outstandingly memorable, Capoue is possibly the most forgettable player of the seven.
With Sandro having regressed due to knee injuries, Capoue initially seemed to be the perfect foil for Mousa Dembele in his place.
But the Frenchman fell out of favour despite steady performances, although was hung out to dry following a few awful displays as a makeshift centre-back.
He lasted one season beyond Pochettino’s arrival in 2014, before joining Watford.
Capoue made 11 outings in the Championship in the first half of the 2020-21 season, before signing for Villarreal in January.
And his impact was immediate as helped the Spanish side beat Manchester United in the Europa League final – the club’s first major trophy in their history.
CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN – £11m
Eriksen was a talismanic figure at Tottenham for more than six seasonsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Denmark international Eriksen linked up with Inter Milan in January 2020Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Without doubt the most successful acquisition of that summer, Christian Eriksen was an outstanding, indispensable member of the squad for six years, before eventually departing for Inter Milan in January 2020.
A bargain at £11m, the Dane papered over cracks during Tim Sherwood’s tenure, pulling out a brilliant goal or moment of genius time and time again to dig the team out of trouble.
He then became the heartbeat of Pochettino’s side, so much so that they struggled to adapt whenever he was absent.
Eriksen admitted his desire to ‘try something new’ after losing the 2019 Champions League final and joined Inter six months later.
The playmaker helped Inter win the Serie A title last season, but his playing career hangs in the balance after he suffered a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.
ERIK LAMELA – £30m
Lamela joined Spurs just two days before Bale’s move to Madrid was confirmedCredit: Action Images – Reuters
Erik Lamela has become the last of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ to depart North London.
Argentine Lamela, 29, actually had a bizarre start at Spurs, starting just three league matches in his first season before disappearing back to his homeland following a back injury early on in Tim Sherwood’s tenure.
He returned following his compatriot Pochettino’s arrival, wrestling for a starting berth before sustaining a troublesome hip injury in October 2016 that would keep him out for 13 months.
Lamela again recovered and returned to action – chipping in with 255 appearances before joining Sevilla in a swap deal with Bryan Gil heading in the opposite direction.
His most memorable moment will be his ‘rabona’ strike in the 2-1 defeat against Arsenal in March, with his strike winning the Premier League Goal of the Season award.