This is not the first occasion that rumours were rife about Parker coming to White Hart Lane. It has happened every time that he has moved club. In January, 2004, after speculation over some years that he would leave Charlton Athletic, he signed for Chelsea. Eighteen months later, having had little playing time at Stamford Bridge, he moved to Newcastle United. After two years on Tyneside, he returned to London but not to Tottenham, instead, he signed for West Ham United. On each occasion that he was transferred during that three and a half year period, the Tottenham manager at the time, Martin Jol, was very keen to get the signature of Scott Parker but to no avail.
Tottenham Hotspur have history for this - trying to sign the same player, transfer window after window. In the past it has not always been successful. In the mid-1990s, Gerry Francis pursued the transfer of Ramon Vega who clearly stated he didn't want to come to Tottenham. However, in January, 1997, less than eight months later he was signed from Cagliari for £3.75million. Vega wasn't the greatest player to pull on the white shirt of Tottenham although he did appear in the 1999 Worthington Cup Final.
Stewart Downing is another player who has often been linked with Spurs but has never signed. While at Middlesbrough, there was such speculation of a transfer that when he played at White Hart Lane in an early season fixture, it was widely regarded by fans and media that that game would be his last for Boro before he signed for Tottenham during the final days of the August transfer period. It didn't happen but the speculation was accurate enough because in an interview in the Sunday Times ahead of the match against Liverpool, he confirmed that there had been discussions that August, the following January and again the next summer, although by that time he was injured and Tottenham were reluctant to conclude a deal under such circumstances so he joined Aston Villa.
During recent transfer periods the names of many strikers have been in Tottenham's sights with reported offers having been made and rejected - the same names over and over again - Diego Forlan, Klass-Jan Huntelaar, Giuseppe Rossi - but none of them have signed. At least this summer's deal for Scott Parker was completed and on the evidence of his first two games for the club, he seems to be exactly what the team needs in midfield.
Parker - the Midfield General
Gary Mabbutt and Ledley king have been two captains who have led by example and set very high standards for themselves but King, in particular, is a quiet, undemonstrative player who is an excellent example of total commitment for the team in defence but he is isolated from the rest of the team by nature of his position. In a similar way, strikers tend to be greedy looking for the scoring chance for themselves and have quite enough to focus and can't be so involved when the team is under pressure.
In midfield, Parker would look to be an ideal candidate to replace King if he is absent through injury. he has fulfilled that role previously to good effect, leading by example in a weak West Ham team who were struggling in their battle against relegation. He has the experience to take on such a role and command the respect of the players around him. Although in a struggling side last year he maintained his own standards to win the Football Writers' Player of the Year award - a rarity as the winner of such awards usually comes from one of the more successful teams.
Scott Parker has settled in the Spurs team with ease and as someone suggested, if only he had come sooner he might have become a Spurs' legend.