He cost how much?
If there has been a better use of £1m by Tottenham Football Club in recent years then I sure as hell can’t think of it. Aaron Lennon arrived as a player clearly with a bright future and Martin Jol was more than happy to take advantage of Leeds United financial crisis to nab the England winger on the cheap, something other clubs were gleefully doing with just about every decent player at Elland Road at the time.
His first year and a half at the club were a joy to behold as the then teenager wowed the Premier League with some consistent performances that helped the club to successive fifth placed finishes and some decent cup runs but then as the club faltered and stuttered when first Jol lost the plot and Juande Ramos came in, so Lennon lost his way for a decent part of 18 months.
During this spell his confidence, so key to his game, was sapped and his runs were perfunctory and normally ended with a poorly placed pass, a badly executed cross that hit the first defender or because he wanted to try one trick too many. During this spell he was a frustrating player to watch but he was still very young and raw and was consigned to the bench on occasion and this merely heightened his lack of self esteem.
Then Harry arrived and things looked up for Aaron and he became a more focused player who perhaps enjoyed the more jovial and closer relationship with Redknapp, much as he had enjoyed with Jol in his first two seasons. He started to learn that on occasions less is more and that it isn’t always necessary to beat the same man twice and he then started to build up a good footballing partnership with Vedran Corluka and has done likewise with Glen Johnson on international duty.
Still just 22 and with 150+ top flight starts to his name I can see Lennon pushing on from here on in. He has the makings of a truly wonderful winger who can combine relentless pace with an end product. The fact that he arrived for such a small fee is incredible, it’s worth remembering that whilst Leeds were in the middle of a firesale they were still getting £2m+ for the likes of Rob Hulse and a mammoth £7m for Alan Smith so clearly Tottenham worked wonders to get the 18 year old so cheaply because it is clearly one of the bargains of the Premier League age.