It’s not a Wednesday if there isn’t a ridiculous transfer rumor floating in the far corners of the internet. And since it’s a slow day for Tottenham Hotspur news let’s look at one. Today, the Manchester Evening News is suggesting that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is trying to get more English players on his squad, and has identified Dele Alli, Danny Rose, and Kyle Walker as top targets.
Here’s the thing: I have no doubts that this is true! Pep is actually on record in saying that he admires English players and wants more of them, and notes Tottenham in particular as having a good stock of native footballers.
“I would like English players because they know the league and that is much better," he said. “I am really impressed with how many good English players your country has.
“Tottenham players, the English players are all amazing, City, United, Chelsea players as well. I would like to have more English players. But, you have to believe me, they are so expensive.
“I would like to play with them. When I was Barcelona I had a lot of players (from Spain) at Bayern Munich, I had a lot of players (from Germany). But sometimes it is not possible.
“The market is the market.”
I also don’t doubt that he really likes Dele, Kyle, and Danny. Who doesn’t? All three of them have been linked with big money moves to bigger, “better” Premier League clubs, which is natural because they’re all really good.
But that’s where it stops, because Tottenham Hotspur is no longer a selling club, and doesn’t face the same kinds of pressures from its players to abandon ship to teams like Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United. Finishing top four with an extremely good side and challenging for titles will do that.
I’m not naïve. I know that continental clubs like Real Madrid, PSG, and Barcelona may come in for some of Spurs’ top talents eventually, and some of Spurs’ players like Dele might even be sold for the right price, much in the same way Gareth Bale was sold. But Daniel Levy no longer feels the same kind of pressure to sell to a league rival, and the price required to get Levy to pull that trigger would have to beyond ludicrous.
So godspeed, Pep. I like him, and I expect he’ll get some new English blood on City’s side eventually. But those players won’t be from Tottenham’s starting XI.