When Tottenham Hotspur announced their interest in signing Ross Barkley from Everton this summer, I’m pretty sure they weren’t counting on him being injured for the preseason. The Guardian is reporting that Barkley, who was left home from Everton’s preseason tour with “a groin issue,” has undergone surgery and will be out for at least the next four weeks.
Barkley’s recovery prognosis means that, regardless of any transfer, he’ll miss the critical preseason training and at least the first match of the season, and possibly longer if recovery takes longer than expected. However, that does NOT necessarily rule out a transfer to North London. Should Barkley keep to his recovery schedule he should be back for the last two weeks of the transfer window.
Setting aside Barkley’s transfer fee for a minute, this news gives me a LOT of pause. We already know that incoming Tottenham signings really need a good preseason if they’re going to be effective under Mauricio Pochettino. Barkley probably wasn’t going to get that anyway, but at least we knew he was in training at Everton. Now he doesn’t even have that.
Moreover, putting the fee back into the equation, the idea of spending a significant amount of money for a player already considered a reclamation project, who is on the outs with the manager at his existing club, AND is now coming off of groin surgery, is ludicrous. If I’m Daniel Levy, I’m taking a long, hard look at this transfer and wondering if it’s worth continuing to pursue it.
Unfortunately, I’m not Daniel Levy, and I have no idea what this means for any potential Tottenham transfer. Maybe it means Spurs pull their interest and move on. Maybe it means additional leverage for Levy as he tries to negotiate a better deal.
Either way, I’m nervous as hell.