Bat country transfer rumor, with a dash of sectarian one-upmanship, is up next in Tottenham's news queue. Leicester youngster and left-back Ben Chilwell seems to have caught the fancy of not one, but two, North London clubs.
"Ben Chilwell has consistently been linked with a move to Arsenal, who reportedly had a £3 million bid for the left-back during the summer, but it seems that Tottenham quite fancy ruining Arsene Wenger's dreams.
Reports today suggest that Spurs have joined their bitter rivals in the hunt for the 19-year-old, who impressed against Mauricio Pochettino's side in their January FA Cup tussles."
The Evening Standard's entire article is just over 100 words and there are zero quotes or sources cited too. Book a trip to Salzburg for this one.
Chilwell had some nice performances in Tottenham's two encounters with Leicester in the FA Cup, but ultimately this rumor seems somewhat off for Spurs unless one is willing to take a leap of faith in reasoning. Spurs are simply very competent at the left-back spot. Danny Rose and Ben Davies have their strengths and weaknesses, but both are young and, depending on your view of Davies, quite good. In essence, Chilwell seems nothing more than a third string back-up who won't even make the eighteen man game-day roster for Spurs if those two are healthy.
Where this transfer *could* make sense is if one views Chilwell's signing as the depth solution to Jan Vertonghen's knee injury. With Fazio practically unplayable and Eric Dier vital to the Tottenham midfield, Spurs only have Alderweireld and Wimmer to play center-back. Unless, of course, Pochettino views Ben Davies as a sufficient back-up to Wimmer and Alderweireld. Along with playing center-back for the Welsh National team, Davies possesses the size and tactical nuance necessary to fill in in an emergency. In this scenario then Chilwell would serve Spurs for the remainder of this season as an emergency back-up to Danny Rose.
Will this happen? Well, we are in bat country so who knows. Arsenal have interest in Chilwell and while on the periphery their left back position seems set with Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs, there are rumors that Gibbs is unhappy to play second fiddle to Monreal. To exacerbate this further the Spaniard just signed a long-term contract extension with the Gunners. If Gibbs has made it clear to management that he wants to move on in the summer, then Chilwell could be a legitimate target for Tottenham's rival.
From Spurs end, this seems like a perfect Levy & Pochettino type signing. At £3m, Levy will love the price tag. If Chilwell helps the team great, if he doesn't, well, he is nineteen and probably can be sold for equal or greater value in the future. If anything he is just cheap cover who, unless Spurs get terribly unlucky with injury, will not feature regularly. From Poche's point of view, this fits in with him showing trust to his current players and finding solutions from within. Poche clearly values synergy in the locker-room and having Davies slide over shows loyalty towards him, gets him more minutes on the field (Danny Rose too), and doesn't disrupt the team with a high profile signing from outside the squad.
Whether or not Spurs sign him depends on if they think Davies can be successful at center-back. If Pochettino believes this, Chilwell could be a smart signing for Tottenham Hotspur.