The latest news out of France is suggesting that Georges-Kevin N’Koudou could be leaving Tottenham Hotspur, at least for a few months. According to L’Equipe, the French winger could be on his way out of the club and heading to (of all places) Burnley on loan for the rest of the season.
The full article in L’Equipe is behind a paywall (as are all new L’Equipe articles) but various other reports are saying that the loan is until the end of the season and could be announced imminently.
Tottenham winger Georges Kévin-N'Koudou is due to join Burnley on loan until the end of the season in the coming hours, according to tomorrow's L'Équipe.— Get French Football (@GFFN) January 8, 2018
Reading the article, L’Equipe says that N’Koudou, who was also wanted by West Brom, decided to stay in England after being convinced by a telephone call from Sean Dyche, and that he wants to try and prove himself there instead of returning to France. L’Equipe also suggests that Mauricio Pochettino prefers what it calls “winger-leaders” like Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen, while N’Koudou is more of an “overflow winger.” Interestingly, and assuming I’m reading the French correctly, the article says Daniel Levy did NOT include a purchase clause in the loan, suggesting that this might be a loan for experience and not because Spurs are giving up on him.
I don’t know how to feel about this one. On the one hand it sure seems like GKN hasn’t really been given a fair shake in this Tottenham side. He’s made only six appearances in all competitions for 145 minutes this season, scoring one goal against APOEL. His league contribution is a one minute cameo against Bournemouth. If you are Team GK, you might find this upsetting.
On the other hand, GK hasn’t exactly set the world on fire in the few chances he has had, and we obviously don’t see him in training. There’s probably a good reason why he’s not getting minutes — maybe he’s not working hard in training, or maybe he just can’t master Pochettino’s tactics. Or, as the article seems to suggest, maybe GK just needs more match experience to improve and he’s not going to get that at Tottenham this season.
If this move really does happen, it’ll be interesting to see how GK does at a club like Burnley. Frankly, a fast dribbly winger like GK doesn’t strike me as the kind of player that Dyche tends to use in his tactics all that often, but I don’t watch a lot of Burnley. And if he does go, maybe he’ll get some valuable Premier League playing experience and come back to Spurs an improved player. He’s only 22. It would feel strange to give up on him now, although certainly not unprecedented.