Spurs’ £18m flop is now strangely playing football in Slovakia
Tottenham Hotspur’s 2017/18 season was seen as very hit-and-miss.
In what was another trophyless season, the Lilywhites finished third in the Premier League securing European football.
In the UEFA Champions League, the north London side was overturned by Juventus, which resulted in Giorgio Chiellini producing his famous ‘It’s the history of Tottenham’ line which is still quoted today.
Spurs’ biggest win of the season may have been offloading a £70k-per-week dud for a whopping £18m, one who made just 15 Premier League appearances for the eight-time FA Cup winners, as he now finds himself playing in Slovakia.
Who joined Tottenham in the 2015/16 season?
The year of 2016 was something to forget for Tottenham fans. Spurs were neck and neck with Leicester City for the Premier League title which they ultimately missed out on and to make the situation even worse, city rivals Arsenal pipped them to second place.
The only silver lining to the 2015/16 season was that the north London side landed some very good additions to their squad.
|Heung-min Son||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||23||LW||£22m|
|Toby Alderweireld||Atletico de Madrid||26||CB||£11.5m|
|Clinton Njié||Olympique Lyon||22||RW/LW||£12m|
|Kevin Wimmer||FC Köln||22||CB||£4m|
Like the majority of his time at Tottenham, former manager Mauricio Pochettino went for a youth-focused transfer strategy bringing in players just before their prime and for relatively little money.
The transfer window was an overall success as the signings of Trippier, Son and Alderweireld laid down the foundations for a squad that began to qualify for the Champions League for a succession of seasons.
Son lit up the Bundesliga the season prior to his move to Spurs, with the winger scoring 11 and assisting 3 goals in his 30 appearances, helping Leverkusen to a solid fourth-place finish.
Son, now 31, has racked up over 150 goal contributions for the Lilywhites and the South Korean took home the Premier League Golden Boot in 2022 (23 goals) showing his signing was the highlight of the window.
However, the then 22-year-old Wimmer was a surprise signing with English spectators knowing very little about the 6ft2 centre-back.
Why did Tottenham buy Kevin Wimmer?
Wimmer looked like the perfect singing for Pochettino, Spurs would get a young and ‘established’ defender for just £4m while the Austrian would get his ‘dream move’ to White Hart Lane, it seemed like a win-win for both parties.
During his time at Koln, the Austrian powerhouse had averaged 1.1 tackles per game and was dribbled just 0.2 times per game which would be key if he was to survive in a more physical league where attackers will try to take you on more consistently.
To put this into context, the Tottenham centre-back Jan Vertonghen was dribbled past on average 0.7 times per Premier League game in the 2014/15 season.
Wimmer also averaged 0.5 dribbles per game while averaging 5.4 long balls per game showing he was capable of being a modern ball-playing centre-back that could help start attacks not just end the oppositions.
One of the key factors as to why Spurs purchased the Austrian was to improve squad depth and Tottenham lacked defenders and desperately needed reinforcements.
The 2015/16 season saw the departures of a few defenders for the north London club. Fazio moved to Sevilla on loan in January while Vlad Chiriches and Younes Kaboul had moved permanently from White Hart Lane to Napoli and Sunderland respectively.
Tottenham were left with just three centre-back options in the form of Alderweireld, Vertonghen and Wimmer.
How did Kevin Wimmer play at Spurs?
The Austrian’s time in north London was relatively short and rather unsuccessful.
During his two years at Tottenham, Wimmer made 31 appearances in total with only 15 being in the Premier League.
In his first season in the white and navy shirt, Wimmer played 10 times in the Premier League with only one of those coming from the bench. The left-footed defender averaged two interceptions per game which started to show why the Spurs recruitment team showed faith in him.
Wimmer also started in six UEFA Europa League games and finished the competition with a Sofascore rating of 7.03 as Spurs topped a group that contained Qarabağ, Anderlecht and Monaco.
The following season was the beginning of the Austrian’s downfall in a Spurs shirt. In the 2016/17 season, Wimmer played just six times in the Premier League as struggled to outperform Alderweireld and Vertonghen. His performances and the pitch were not up to the standard of a club gunning for Champions League qualification where he was later sold to Stoke City for £18m.
Daniel Levy stuck gold as he managed to extract £18m for the 6 foot 2 defender which meant the Tottenham chairman left the negotiating table with £14m profit – over quadruple what Spurs paid for the 6ft2 centre-back.
Speaking on the signing of Wimmer, then-Stoke manager Mark Hughes, said:
“We are really pleased with what we have done this summer, especially in the defensive positions.
“Bringing Kevin here is a real coup in my view because he is a hugely talented young player who will undoubtedly add further quality to the group.
“As soon as the possibility of bringing Kevin here presented itself to us, we moved quickly on it, and have managed to get the deal done, so we are understandably delighted to have brought him in.”
Wimmer ultimately continued to struggle in the Premier League and was later dubbed a “flop” by journalist John Percy, leaving the Bet365 Stadium on a free in 2021 after making just 17 Premier League appearances for the Potters.
Where is Kevin Wimmer now?
After a brief spell in his native Austria with Rapid Wien, Wimmer now finds himself contracted to Slovakian giants Slovan Bratislava.
The former UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup champions have previously had players such as Marek Hamšík and Watford’s Giorgi Chakvetadze on their books.
The £400k-valued man joined SK Slovan Bratislava in the summer on a free transfer and has so far made seven appearances in all competitions.
Wimmer may have had the last laugh as the Slovakian runners-up will be playing European football this season in the Europa Conference League, whilst Stoke remain stuck in the Championship and Spurs find themselves bored on midweek nights.
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