With the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino just two short months ago, the outlook for the club has shifted drastically. We have seen changes in the squad, such as the resurgence of Dele Alli and players such as Eric Dier being restored to the starting XI. There are still plenty of questions that need to be answered, and while January is a historically quiet window for the club, it’s also a time when Spurs purchased the likes of Alli and Lucas Moura in the past.
Mourinho has downplayed Tottenham’s involvement in the window, but a report from The Athletic UK (£) suggests that the club might have a lot of business to take care of. The article is paywalled and you should give it a read if you have a subscription, but we’ll go through some of the main points.
Firstly, there’s the Christian Eriksen saga to deal with. The Danish International clearly wants to leave and it appears he doesn’t want to wait until the summer. While we’ve heard of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus sniffing around in the last month, it looks like Inter Milan might actually pony up some cash to get him now. That would be a pretty curious move and, honestly, feels like a lateral move for Eriksen. There’s a joke about tax law in here somewhere.
So Eriksen moving on would be a good thing because it means Giovani Lo Celso could see the pitch more, correct? While Spurs are expected to purchase the Argentine outright for an additional fee of about £27m this window, it’s suggested that Spurs still want to bring in another attacking midfielder such as Bruno Fernandes. I honestly have no idea why, given he’ll cost north of £50m and Sporting will probably play hardball to try and get as much cash up front. I don’t put much stock into this rumor unless Mourinho absolutely wants him.
Spurs have been linked in the past couple of weeks to Queens Park Rangers midfielder Eberechi Eze, who is having a solid season in the Championship with the London club. Not talked about in the report is that Luke Amos is there on loan and QPR would like that move to be permanent. Given they have an interest in Jack Clarke on loan, Daniel Levy could work some black magic here and grease the wheels to try and get Eze, who is valued by QPR at around £20m.
There is also talk of transferring other players out like Victor Wanyama, who was as close as could be to leaving the club in Summer, only for the deal to fall apart on deadline day. Surprisingly, Erik Lamela is also listed as a possible exit, though with him just returning from injury it’s believed Mourinho at least wants to see what he has and if he can stay healthy long enough to contribute to the squad.
The most frustrating part of this report is that DM and RB are not being treated as a priority. Eric Dier is getting his legs back, but we’re not getting 2016 Dier back. I think he can be a solid second-choice, but who else is going to play that role that’s currently on the roster? The answer is nobody, and it’s concerning that outside of being linked to LOSC Lille’s Boubakary Soumaré, we haven’t seen anything else. It would be nice to get reports that Spurs are looking at players such as Lyon’s Lucas Tousart or even Chelsea loanee Tiémoué Bakayoko, who is having a resurgent season at AS Monaco.
The right back situation is just as depressing. Serge Aurier, on his best day, is probably top 5 in the Premier League at the position. The problem is that he’s woefully inconsistent and the bad Aurier days make us all want to slam our heads through a wall. Kyle Walker-Peters isn’t getting any time and is expected to go out on loan in January which makes little to no sense unless Juan Foyth is going to see time at right back.
Of all of these possible moves, the only ones I expect to happen are Eriksen leaving the club and possibly Wanyama if a good deal can be found. All of that can change if an injury were to occur, especially at a position Spurs are thin at already. (See: DM and RB)
The transfer window officially opens tomorrow, so expect a lot of rumors and links, though most of them are going to hail from bat country like usual.