The Luka Modric saga finally came to a close after the Croatian playmaker finalised his move to Spanish La Liga Champions Real Madrid from Spurs for a reported £33 million. However, I want to look at this transfer in more detail; was he worth the money, what role will he play at Madrid (presuming he gets a game) and how will Tottenham cope without him.

So was Modric worth the money that Madrid paid for him? Considering this time last year Spurs and Daniel Levy would not sell Modric to Chelsea for less than £40 million it can be argued that Real have struck a good deal. Furthermore, when you look at the likes of Andy Carroll for £35million, Torres for £50 million, the signature of Modric appears more of a bargain. On the contrary, there will be some that say that Modric is a year older so Tottenham wouldn’t have expected as big a fee as this time last year and that Madrid have paid over the odds for him. It didn’t look as if Chelsea were willing to pay the £33 million for a player they were so desperate to sign last season, which suggests they may not believe he is worth it. Moreover, when you look at some other deals that have taken place this summer, again it may be questioned if Madrid have paid over the odds for Modric. With RVP going to Manchester United for only £24 million, Alex Song to Barcelona for £15million and arguably Europe’s brightest footballing talent Eden Hazard going to Chelsea for only £32 million you start to question the price tag. I do personally think Real have overpaid for the player but that is the style of the club, they also paid ridiculous sums of money to bring the likes of Zidane, Figo, Kaka and Ronaldo to Bernabeu. Furthermore, I believe Modric will justify the transfer fee and has the ability to be a great signing for Madrid and Jose Mourinho.

Do they need him? Not really, but massive clubs such as Madrid and Barcelona always like to have a ridiculous amount of strength and depth in their squad. Madrid already has the likes of Khedira, Ozil, Kaka, Xabi Alonso, Lassanna Diarra, Granero, most of which would get a game in any clubs midfield. It is unlikely that Modric will walk straight into the team and be a regular first team starter. That said, with Sahin going to Liverpool on a season long loan, Real would like to have competition for the likes of Ozil, Khedira and Xabi Alonso. Competition could potentially mean getting the best out of players, which has already been seen with the competition for a starting place between Benzema and Higuain. Last night in the Spanish Super Cup Modric came on to replace Khedira with 10 minutes to go, which perhaps suggests that when he does play he is likely to fill in for Khedira or Ozil. However, he is a versatile player which means he can play a few roles. He also has the ability like he did at Spurs to be the playmaker, so if Xabi Alonso was injured he would be able to replace him. However, as I said before, he would be able to play a more attacking role and compete or replace the likes of Khedira or Ozil. Modric has already stated he can play anywhere in midfield but feels his best is the centre of midfield.

How will Spurs cope? It all depends on who they sign before the transfer window closes. If they do not sign anybody to try and replace Modric then there will be a noticeable effect on the team. Some people may say Modric did not have a great scoring or assist record, to which they may be right as in his 127 games for Tottenham he only scored 17 goals and produced 26 assists. That said, he was the creative spark in the Spurs team and was always the pass before the assist. He was also crucial in retrieving the ball and redistributing the play. In essence, he played a major role in the Spurs team and he will be missed.  Conversely, if AVB uses and is given the £33 million to spend wisely the effect may not be too severe. There have been talks of signing both Portugese midfielder Joao Moutinho from Porto and Brazilian Willian from Shakhtar Donetsk. Both of these players would be fantastic signings as they are both creative players that have to ability to do what Modric did. Willian plays at the moment as an attacking midfielder or on the flanks, but has the ability to do both. With Bale and Lennon it is more likely he would play through the middle.  Moutinho is another high quality player that AVB has worked with at Porto and has been consistently linked with Manchester United. He had an impressive Euro 2012 and is a player that could play as an attacking midfielder but also could replace Modric as a playmaker which he has also done for both club and country. Spurs have already started strengthening their midfield with the signing of Dembele from Fulham, but they are running out of time if they want to capture the likes of a Willian or Moutinho. It is vital that they do their best to replace Modric as the upcoming Premier League season sees them have a significant chance of finishing within the top 4. With Arsenal losing big named stars and with Liverpool looking like a gradual rebuilding project under Brendan Rodgers, Spurs have the opportunity to take advantage.

By Niall Murray
Twitter: @evaporatedc

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