By Matt Farr
Harry Redknapp believes Tottenham made a “brave move” to sign foreign duo Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa in 1978.
The Argentine midfield duo both arrived at White Hart Lane following an impressive display at the 1978 World Cup, at a time when few foreign players were playing in English football.
However, both became Tottenham legends, contributing a combined 34 goals from 354 appearances, and played an important part of an emotional farewell at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Tottenham bid farewell to their beloved home stadium with a 2-1 win over Manchester United at the weekend, as they bid to turn over a new leaf at Wembley next season, with construction over a new home stadium picking up pace.
Many club legends were invited to the game, including both Ardiles and Villa, and ex-Tottenham boss Redknapp insists it was the perfect send-off, whilst delivering his verdict on the signing of the Argentine duo.
In his column for the Standard, he wrote: “The send-off for White Hart Lane was a great day to be a small part of. People like Cliff Jones, Les Allen and Terry Dyson were fantastic players there was a lot of history in one room.
“Keith Burkinshaw was there, too, and when you think of what he did, signing Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles after they had just won the World Cup with Argentina in 1978, it was a reminder of his impact on the game.
“Signing those two was a very brave move at the time because there weren’t many foreign players at all in English football but they became Spurs heroes. White Hart Lane got the send-off it deserved.”
Villa and Ardiles were both part of the Tottenham squad that won the FA Cup in 1981, but Ardiles also went on to lift the UEFA Cup in 1984, after his international team-mate had quit the club.
But Ardiles’ vast history at the club also extended to a brief managerial spell between 1993 and 1994, only to be given the sack after a disappointing performance.
Tottenham have continued take gambles in the transfer market, albeit under different circumstances, with their acquisition of Dele Alli the most recent example.
The club splashed out as much as £5million to land the highly-rated teenager from MK Dons in February 2015, but his meteoric rise in the years since proves that it was a gamble that paid off.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Pochettino has made this revelation on Tottenham’s transfer ambitions, and Spurs fans will be fuming.