In January 2005, two bright young things joined Tottenham Hotspur from Nottingham Forest. One was a tubby midfielder who was quietly shipped off to Sunderland, the other became a club favourite. The former, if you can remember, was Andy Reid, the latter was Michael Dawson.
Daws is a commanding centre-back with four England caps and formed the perfect brains and brawn defensive partnership with Ledley King. Whilst Dawson launched into headers, tackles and blocks, Ledley calmly took up covering positions and mopped up all the spillages.
However, a series of injuries hampered both careers, but it is a sign of how revered Dawson is around White Hart Lane that he got such a huge reception when he finally returned to the fold in a League Cup tie last year.
The 29-year-old hasn’t seen much action this term, the form of William Gallas, Stephen Caulker and Jan Vertonghen keeping him out of the side, but is still a vital part of the Spurs set-up, bringing experience of the Premier League and experience of Tottenham Hotspur to the dressing room.
He was linked with a move away this summer and AVB accepted a £5.5m bid from QPR for him, but Dawson turned down the move. Now his name is back in the gossip columns with Sunderland sniffing around the 6’3″ defender.
He would be guaranteed games at the Stadium of Light and it’s a big man who turns down the chance to work with Martin O’Neill, but Dawson mustn’t be allowed to leave.
He is very important to Tottenham and the fans will be gutted to see him go. Good as Caulker has been this season, he is still learning and with Assou-Ekotto out and Vertonghen playing at left-back, Dawson is essential cover. Spurs paid £4m for him in 2005 and £5m, the reported offer, doesn’t represent value.
When I heard the figure £7m bandied about in the summer, I thought Daniel Levy should cash in, but Dawson still has a good four years left in him and at this time, it would be foolish to allow the second most capped player in the squad, after Defoe, to leave the Lane.
Maybe a move in the summer could work out, but for now, the baby-faced hard-man has to stay put.