Mounir El Hamdaoui was a buy from Holland brought in by Sporting Director Frank Arnesen, who failed to make it out of the reserves, despite showing good technical ability.
Dutch born of Moroccan descent, El Hamdaoui was a forward who looked like a slimmed down version of Mido and showed more appetite for the game, showing neat tricks, while not scoring too many goals while he played for the second XI. Had a good touch and a goal-scorer's awareness of where the goal was, but the move might have come too early in his career.
The striker had been prolific at Excelsior in Holland, where Arnesen had seen him play, but coming to England, he faced different challenges with better defending and less time on the ball. To gain some proper first team experience (he had only played Spurs friendlies before this), he was farmed out to Derby County, where he had two loan spells with the Rams in 2005-06, but both were cut short by injury; the first a dislocated shoulder and the second a groin injury that finished Mounir's season and saw him have his last action in English football.
Deciding that he was not for Tottenham, El Hamdaoui was sold back to Holland to Willem II. Scored well to start off with, but an injury side-lined him for nine months and he only played two games at the start of the following season before he was on the move again, this time to AZ Alkmaar. Here he struck a rich vein of goals with 50 in 80 games, bringing him to the attention of bigger Dutch clubs and his former Spurs manager at Ajax snapped him up. Having scored 23 goals in 2008-09, El Hamdaoui topped the goal-scoring charts in the Dutch league and won the Dutch Player of the Year award.
In the summer of 2012, Mounir moved to Fiorentina in Italy, but in the August 2013 transfer window, the Dutchman joined Malaga on a season long loan
Having played for Holland at youth levels and up to Under-21, Mounir then chose to represent Morocco at full international level.