It was destined to happen. As we careen into December, the transfer rumors start to pick up again, and, as inevitable as the heat death of the universe, Tottenham Hotspur’s biggest stars are being linked with big-money moves to large clubs. The latest comes courtesy of the Mirror, which claims French giants Paris Saint-Germain are ready to make a £50m bid for Dele Alli.
As Spurs fans, we know this to be a basic fact when it comes to transfer windows. Truth be told, this is entirely unexpected considering the incredible season that Alli had last year in the Premier League and the fact that he’s only 20 and would not look out of place on any team in the world at the moment.
Nevertheless, there are reasons to be optimistic about this particular rumor. First, it’s the Mirror. No quotes, weasel words, “[PSG] believe they have a chance of luring him,” etc. We’ve seen this before, we know the drill.
Second, and perhaps more critically, that price is outrageously low. The era of ridiculous money in the Premier League started relatively recently, so there’s a bit of cognitive dissonance in thinking that a £50m bid for any player is “low.” But consider this: in 2015, Liverpool sold Raheem Sterling, then the same age as Alli is now, for £49m, and Sterling was in the last year of his contract. Since then, transfer fees and wages have skyrocketed for even the most mundane of players (e.g.: £30m, Moussa Sissoko).
Dele Alli is not only one of the most exciting young talents in Europe, he’s already an elite Premier League attacking midfielder, and he’s nowhere near hitting the peak of his abilities. If he keeps developing on his current trajectory, he’s going to be world-class. £50m for him now, while no doubt a fantastic return on Spurs’ £5m investment, is laughable, just based on his potential alone. Moreover, he just signed a new six year contract at Tottenham last summer, meaning that if a club wants to sign him they’re going to have to negotiate with Daniel Levy, AND pay through the nose.
I have no doubt that, unless he’s happy staying at Spurs long term and making ~£100k/week, a mega-rich club is eventually going to come in with a nine-figure bid and we’ll be seriously talking about whether or not Spurs will cash in. Until then, ignore these rumors. They will come fast and furious, and we will never see the end of them. But this is one you shouldn’t concern yourself with.