The on-pitch stuff is the real kicker, sure, but there’s also the not insubstantial matter of the emotional pull of transfer windows with big signings, big departures and plenty of false dawns.
We’ve looked back at every summer window since the format was introduced ahead of the 2002/03 season, and picked out Spurs’ best and worst summers.
Identifying a target, signing them for a reasonable fee and getting more than five good years out of them is something some Premier League clubs can go years without achieving.
Spurs didn’t just do it once in the summer of 2012 – they did it three times. While Mousa Dembele was eventually allowed to leave in January 2019, Hugo Lloris and Jan Vertonghen are still going strong nearly eight years on.
The trio formed a key part of Tottenham’s best sides in the last few years, playing more than 650 Premier League games between them as Spurs ensured regular Champions League football under Mauricio Pochettino.
Thanks to them, the club dealt with the 2012 loss of Luka Modric far better than they did with certain other exits (more on that later).
Good windows aren’t always about immediate impact – sometimes, snapping up a couple of ‘for the future’ talents who actually deliver on their promise can be just as valuable.
In addition to snapping up Gareth Bale for an initial £5million from Southampton, Spurs were able to pick up Leeds’ talented teenager Danny Rose in the same window: two players who, once they finally approached their peak, were invaluable members of the Tottenham set-up.
There was also a more immediate improvement that summer, of course, with Younes Kaboul joining from Auxerre and giving Spurs a full season before taking two years out at Portsmouth and returning stronger in 2010.
Mido was the most notable exit that year, with Tottenham turning a profit on a striker who had scored just one league goal the previous season.
The summer of 2015 was always going to be huge for Tottenham, as they looked to build on Pochettino’s first season in charge and ensure they used it as a platform for something bigger.
After a few previous attacking missteps, spending more than £20m on a new forward might have been considered a risk, but no one’s saying that about Son Heung-min now.
He wasn’t the only important arrival, either. Toby Alderweireld has been a huge part of Tottenham’s growth, while Kieran Trippier would eventually grow into a key man after initially serving as a back-up to Kyle Walker.
A good summer can also be about who you get rid of, though, and 2015 was when Spurs took the important step of getting Paulinho and Roberto Soldado off the books, while also receiving smaller but not completely insubstantial fees for fringe players including Benjamin Stambouli and Lewis Holtby.
The start of the 2008/09 season was dreadful, and prompted the exit of Juande Ramos, but things were hardly going to be a walk in the park for any manager.
After a season in which Spurs outscored second-placed Chelsea, they lost 30 of those 66 league goals when Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane were both sold.
While Roman Pavlyuchenko wasn’t the worst addition, he lacked Premier League experience, and letting Berbatov leave on deadline day with only an on-loan Fraizer Campbell to replace him looked bad even at the time.
It was also the window in which Spurs broke their transfer record to sign David Bentley, and we all know what happened there.
Even the arrival of a certain Luka Modric wasn’t enough to make up for it.
Yes, we all know about the summer of 2013, but it bears repeating.
Spurs received a world-record fee when Gareth Bale left for Real Madrid, but the apparent inevitability ought to have given Andre Villas-Boas’ team some time to prepare and get ready to make some sensible signings.
Roberto Soldado, Paulinho and Vlad Chiriches were all busts, while Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue weren’t exactly consistently brilliant.
Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela were better, but even then we didn’t see the best of them until Villas-Boas had gone in December.
At least Spurs got a bit of cash for the surplus-to-requirements Steven Caulker and Clint Dempsey that summer. Small mercies.
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Yes, Spurs ended the 2018/19 season in the Champions League final, but a transfer window isn’t just about the season it immediately precedes.
The summer of 2018 saw the club sign… no one. Absolutely no one.
We’ve seen with the likes of Lamela and Lucas Moura that a player can take some time to make himself important in Spurs’ set-up, and by doing more business in 2018 – rather than beefing up the squad 12 months later – we might well have seen more benefits this time around.