It would be an understatement to say that Federico Fazio's time at Tottenham has been disappointing. He's failed to adapt to Spurs style, and to English football, and now seems to be on his way back to La Liga. Reports in Spain claim that Espanyol are close to a deal to sign Fazio permanently from Spurs.
Talks with the player are at an advanced stage and it seems the transfer could be completed soon, with the English club keen to move the Argentine on.
The player has given his OK to the Pericos regarding a four-year deal and they must now reach an agreement with Spurs.
Espanyol president Chen Yansheng was in London this week, accompanied by CEO Ramon Robert, to talk about the deal.
Espanyol are a fitting destination for Fazio, and it seems the deal is actually close to being done. Mauricio Pochettino made 219 appearances for Espanyol from 1994-2000 and then managed them from 2009-2012. His connections with the second most popular club in Barcelona may have been crucial in getting this deal done.
You may have forgotten about him, but Fazio spent most of last season on loan back at Sevilla, who originally sold him to Spurs for £8 million in 2014. It seems like a really long time ago, but he actually started a game for Spurs in defense last season. His selection was one that elicited a bit of anger from the fans after he played in the 2-1 Capital One Cup defeat to Arsenal.
He didn't see the pitch again after the defeat, and was eventually shipped off on loan. But even back at Sevilla he found it hard to get playing time. Fazio only appeared six times after making his return to the team he had won the Europa League with only a few years earlier.
All 20 of Fazio's Premier League appearances came in the 2014-2015 season. After veteran Younes Kaboul fell out of favor with Mauricio Pochettino, Fazio was the one to replace him as the central defender preferred to play alongside Jan Vertonghen.
Spurs defensive record improved, and the pairing was good enough for fifth place, but that was probably more down to Jan than it was to Federico. Obviously he's good in the air, but it quickly became clear that Fazio lacked the pace needed to play in the Premier League. He was sent off on his league debut, a 4-1 beatdown by Manchester City in October. Then last season he was clearly never in Poch's plans.
Fazio turns 30 this season, and Spurs will be pleased they found someone to take him off their books. The writing was always on the wall with Fazio after Spurs bought two superior defenders in Toby Alderweireld and Kevin Wimmer last summer. Federico even almost ended up at West Brom last August.
The transfer was delayed by a year, but Federico can at least be happy that he'll get to live in Barcelona over Birmingham. We'll always be able to fondly remember that time he decked Frazier Campbell for looking at Hugo the wrong way.