Why there will be no tears over Modric's departure from Spurs
10:18 GMT, 27 August 2012
There will be no bitterness. No recriminations. No tears.
And the street vendors on Tottenham High Road are unlikely to start flogging spitefully worded t-shirts sporting Luka Modric's face following his move to Real Madrid.
The usual acrimony which greets the departure of a big name is unlikely to be witnessed this time in north London, in stark contrast to rivals Arsenal who will be force-fed Robin van Persie's progress at Manchester United.
Goodbye: Modric's time in north London has come to an end
Nor does Modric's exit signal the end of a golden era at White Hart Lane. There will be no heart aching wrench for Tottenham fans, who have greatly enjoyed his style and finesse in midfield for the past four years.
The reason Spurs fans will not be weeping into their cornflakes on learning Modric has left is simple: he is replaceable.
Chairman Daniel Levy was credited with pulling off something of a coup when he landed the Croatia international for 16.6million following his excellent performance at Euro 2008.
He helped the club to two top-four finishes and was an integral member of the dynamic Spurs side which became the toast of the Champions League as they reached the quarter-finals in 2011 under Harry Redknapp.
But while admirers would be held in thrall as he dropped a shoulder here and found half a yard of space there, Tottenham fans would look back and question what he actually does for the team.
For all his verve and panache at the heart of midfield, his goalscoring and assist statistics left a great deal to be desired.
Star performer: Modric was a classy midfielder but lacked end product
Take his final season at White Hart Lane: He made 40 appearances, scored five goals and supplied six assists.
Compare that to Manchester City's David Silva – who made 49 appearances, scored eight goals and – crucially – provided 22 assists to the champions' cause.
Over at rivals Barcelona, Cesc Fabregas scored 15 and made another 20, while across London at Chelsea, Frank Lampard bagged 16 and laid on another 10. You get the gist.
Luka Modric Tottenham stats
2008–09: 44 – 5 – 10
2009–10: 32 – 3 – 7
2010–11: 43 – 4 – 3
2011–12: 40 – 5 – 6
(games, goals, assists)
Modric was very much a Tottenham player: blessed with a sublime first touch, eye for a pass and his goals – when they eventually came – were usually stunning.
But he never dominated a game, never the driving force or catalyst who grabbed a game but its scruff and dictated terms on which Tottenham wanted to play.
Granted, few players are blessed with
this ability and you can't criticise Modric for who he wasn't. But a
transfer figure the size the Spanish giants are paying deems him worthy
of comparison with the very best.
are five days left in the current transfer window – an eternity in the
world of Spurs' wheeling and dealing history – plenty of time for Levy
to rustle up the next midfield maestro.
leaves after making a hugely positive impact at the club, but fans will
certainly believe the gap he leaves can be filled… and for less than
Real Madrid are paying to take him away.
Rare sighting: Modric scored 17 goals in four seasons at White Hart Lane