Mario Götze is looking more and more unlikely, but Tottenham Hotspur are still in the market for another attacking midfielder. Now, the Mirror is suggesting that Spurs are looking at Barcelona cast-off Cristian Tello for reinforcements in the attacking band ahead of next season.
Being a wash-out at Barcelona shouldn’t be considered a black mark. It’s incredibly hard to make it at the Catalan giants, and despite the renowned reputation of their La Masia academy, plenty of talented footballers are let go. That said, in his two stints on loan last season with Porto and then Fiorentina, Tello’s numbers aren’t spectacular: four goals and six assists in 2000+ minutes, with most of that output coming in Serie A in the spring.
Regardless, Tello doesn’t seem like a player who would make an impact immediately. He’s primarily a two-footed left sided midfielder, though he can play on the right as well. He’s 24 and would probably be at best a rotation option on the wing, and at worst takes away minutes from Clinton N’Jie and Josh Onomah.
That said, the price is right with Tello thought to go for somewhere around £7m. Fiorentina, however, seems keen on keeping him, though they’re likely looking to snag him for another loan with an option to purchase. Tello’s agent was apparently in London this week to hold negotiations with Tottenham officials, but whether there’s serious negotiating going on or if Tello’s agent is using Spurs as a stalking horse remains to be seen.
Tello came up through Espanyol’s academy while Pochettino was manager there, which could explain why Spurs are suddenly linked to him: either Pochettino knows him and his potential, or it’s the media adding one plus one.
I don’t quite have a handle on this Tello rumor yet: I can see him as being a realistic low-risk-high-upside transfer, but I’m not sure I buy that Spurs are serious about him when they appear to be taking a hard look at players like Georgino Wijnaldum, and he doesn’t appear to be as versatile as some of the other targets Spurs are linked to. We’ll have to see how this plays out.