IN 2013, Spurs were forced to blast their squad following the world-record sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
The Welshman scored 26 goals in the previous campaign, sweeping the various Premier League individual awards ahead of Luis Suarez and Eden Hazard.
But there was a problem – Tottenham missed Champions League qualification by one point.
Daniel Levy was optimistic that his star asset could be retained, but Real Madrid launched their charm offensive and it quickly became just a matter of time, not if.
So Spurs got busy, signing seven new players for over £100million – as they went, they had ‘sold Elvis and signed the Beatles’.
But as Bale was on the verge of winning Champions League titles with Madrid, Spurs’ new signings were producing contrasting performances.
So let’s see what happened to the “Magnificent Seven”.
ROBERTO SOLDADO – £26m
The Spaniard Soldado was probably the most exciting of the acquisitions, when he arrived from Valencia for £26m, having wowed in the Confederations Cup and scored 24 La Liga goals.
Although he didn’t miss a try, his time at White Hart Lane was a disaster as he scored just seven goals in 52 Premier League appearances – five of them from the penalty spot.
Levy managed to secure £10million from Villarreal for his services in 2015, and he has since played for Fenerbahce and Granada.
Now 37, he joined Spanish top flight Levante on a two-year contract and scored six goals in 20 games last season.
PAULINHO – £17million
Another that arrived after a stellar Confederations Cup, Spurs fans thought they were getting ‘Brazilian Frank Lampard’ when Paulinho arrived in N17.
Initial performances were steady, with a late winner in Cardiff causing pandemonium among traveling supporters.
However, things went downhill very quickly, with Paulinho being shown a red card in Andre Villas-Boas’ last game in charge, before becoming a nervous wreck barely able to complete a five-yard pass at the end.
He was offered a 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, linked up with Saudi side Al-Ahli but has since signed a deal with Corinthians.
VLAD CHIRICHES – £8m
Fans were excited when Chiriches arrived, as they believed they had unearthed a hidden gem in Steaua Bucharest, with a penchant for playing the ball from behind.
And while he was very laid back, this often proved to be to the team’s detriment, as his laid back style tended to provide easy goals for his opponents, 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 in four seasons at San Paulo, before joining Sassuolo on loan two years ago – before making him permanent for just under £10m.
NACER CHADLI – £7 million
One of the most successful acquisitions of the summer, Chadli has become a popular figure at Spurs despite a disappointing start.
The Belgian joined FC Twente, having scored against Tottenham home and away in the 2010-11 Champions League campaign.
But it wasn’t until his second season that he really started 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 in 2020, via spells in Monaco and Anderlecht, where he still plays today.
ETIENNE CAPOUE – £9m
Neither terribly awful nor exceptionally memorable, Capua is perhaps the most forgettable player of the seven.
With Sandro having regressed due to knee injuries, Capoue initially seemed like the perfect foil for Mousa Dembele in his place.
But the Frenchman fell out of favor despite consistently performing, although he was left dry after some terrible displays as a makeshift centre-back.
He lasted one season after Pochettino arrived in 2014, before joining Watford.
Capoue made 11 Championship outings in the first half of the 2020-21 season, before signing for Villarreal in the January transfer window.
And his impact was immediate as he helped the Spanish side beat Manchester United in the Europa League final – the club’s first major trophy in their history.
While he was also crucial in their Champions League run last season to the semi-finals.
CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN – £11million
Undoubtedly the most successful acquisition of this summer, Christian Eriksen was an exceptional and indispensable member of the team for six years, before finally leaving for Inter Milan in January 2020.
An £11million affair, the Dane covered up cracks during Tim Sherwood’s tenure, pulling back a brilliant goal or a moment of genius time and time again to bail the team out of trouble.
He then became vital alongside Pochettino, so much so that they struggled to adapt whenever he was out.
Eriksen admitted his desire to ‘try something new’ after losing the 2019 Champions League final and joining Inter six months later.
The playmaker helped Inter win the Serie A title last season but his playing career was thrown into question after suffering cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.
However, he returned to the Premier League last season on a short-term deal with Brentford, excelling, and is now linked with a move to Manchester United and Spurs.
ERIK LAMELA – £30m
Erik Lamela has become the latest of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ to leave north London.
Argentine Lamela, 30, actually had a bizarre start to Spurs, starting just three league games in his debut season before disappearing in his homeland with a back injury early in term by Tim Sherwood.
He returned after the arrival of compatriot Pochettino, battling for a starting spot before suffering a troublesome hip injury in October 2016 that would keep him out for 13 months.
Lamela recovered again and returned to action – 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 loss to Arsenal, with his strike winning the Premier League Goal of the Season award.