Tuesday was a great day to be a Tottenham Hotspur supporter. The club ended 517 days of transfer misery when it signed not one, but two players — the first new blood into the squad since January 31, 2018, when Spurs welcomed Lucas Moura.
With no disrespect to Jack Clarke, who will spend next year on loan at his former club Leeds United, the transfer record smashing acquisition of Tanguy Ndombele from Olympique Lyonnais is the most significant signing Tottenham have made since they purchased Hugo Lloris in 2012. The addition of Ndombele directly addresses the biggest problem Spurs had last season — their midfield — and Tottenham should be an improved team even if they made no further moves in this window.
But nobody believes that Spurs are done. Far from it. Fans should expect further moves this summer, both incoming and outgoing, and before the window slams shut at 5 p.m. BST on August 8 Spurs could look like a significantly different team in important ways. With the Ndombele deal in the rear view mirror, it feels like a good time to take stock of what’s left to do in the transfer window, and how Spurs are going to get there.
The deal for Ndombele was significant — Spurs’ record transfer signing was a statement of intent in the marketplace. However, it’s now understood that Spurs will probably need to sell players to finance any future purchases. Let’s take a look at who is tipped to possibly leave the club.
The big one. Eriksen has already come out and said he’s ready for a “new challenge,” and if reports in Spain are to be believed, he’s asking to be sold to Real Madrid, with Levy opening negotiations with the La Liga giants. Should he go, Spurs would have a major hole to fill, but would likely have around £60m-70m with which to finance moves for other incoming players. If Real Madrid drop their interest, or Eriksen decides he doesn’t want to move, there’s a (slim) chance he could accept a new Spurs contract that would very likely make him one of, if not the, biggest wage earner at the club.
Thanks to his refusal to sign a contract extension last year, Alderweireld now has an active release clause in his contract of £25m that expires two weeks before the close of the window. That gives other clubs until
August 19 July 26 to bid for him and come to a wage agreement. Currently, nobody has bid for Toby, which raises the possibility that he may not leave the club at all. He could then decide to extend his existing Spurs contract, or leave the club on a Bosman at the end of next season.
Trippier’s, uh, difficult season has been a source of constant discussion on this website, and he has attracted a lot of interest from Serie A, especially Juventus and Napoli. However, the rumors have quieted down in recent weeks, probably due to the focus on Ndombele and Jack Clarke. Trippier turns 29 in July and Pochettino seems willing to move him on; Spurs supposedly want £25m for him, which would be a nice piece of business considering they purchased him from Burnley for £3.5m.
Spurs are supposedly open to offers for a number of its first team players, including Serge Aurier, Victor Wanyama, Danny Rose, and Erik Lamela. Georges-Kevin N’Koudou and Vincent Janssen are again expected to find new clubs. There are also a number of developmental squad players such as Josh Onomah, Marcus Edwards, and Cameron Carter-Vickers who could find themselves either sold or sent out on loan again. Michel Vorm and Fernando Llorente (presumably) have already left the club. It’s hard to know how much Spurs could raise from any or all of these players, but it wouldn’t be at all shocking if they could bring in a total of £30m-40m, possibly more.
Ndombele was the club’s top transfer target and for a good reason — he’s phenomenal and central midfielder was a position of extreme need. But he’s not the only player Spurs are tracking. Mauricio Pochettino has identified several positions that could use some shoring up, including central attacking midfield, right back, and possibly center back. Here’s an (incomplete) list of players whom Spurs could be considering.
Giovani Lo Celso
With the exception of Ndombele, no potential Tottenham transfer has been written about more than the Argentinian midfielder, now with Real Betis, late of PSG, and who is currently with Argentina in the Copa America. Pochettino is highly enamored with his game, and Lo Celso’s ability to play central midfield and across the attacking midfield band makes him flexible and highly useful. Betis thinks so too, and though they likely don’t think they can hold onto him another year, they are demanding £67m for him. Lo Celso would be a very good potential replacement for (or supplement to) Eriksen, but with the Argentine still at the Copa America, the clubs still far apart in their valuation, and talks on hold, it could be a while before this deal gets wrapped up.
Another potential central midfield reinforcement option, Real Madrid is open to offers for 22-year old, and he would be an excellent addition to the squad. However, recent reports in Spain suggest that while Spurs would be open to Ceballos being included in an Eriksen deal, Ceballos himself would rather make the move a season-long loan and probably doesn’t want to be sold at all. Loans are usually a non-starter for Daniel Levy, but he could be an option of Lo Celso falls thorugh.
It’s no secret that Sessegnon, one of the hottest young English talents of his generation, is coveted by Pochettino and Tottenham. Spurs have been linked with the young Fulham left sided player for a couple of years now, and Fulham’s promotion last summer was the only thing that prevented them from signing him. With Fulham back in the Championship, Sessegnon will almost certainly leave the Cottagers. The only question is where, and for how much. Reports have already suggested that Spurs are still keen, and that they plan to use him as a left winger before eventually transitioning him back as a long term replacement to Danny Rose at left back. Sessegnon’s stock has dropped after a somewhat anemic first Premier League season with a poor Fulham side, and Spurs think they can probably land him for about £25m.
Did you know Ryan Sessegnon has a twin brother? Well, now you do! Steven is the less-heralded of the two, but his career has been dogged by some past injuries and he hasn’t developed in the same way as his twin despite being just as talented. However, there are reports that say that Spurs are interested in both Sessegnon brothers — Steven is a right back who is well regarded at the youth level, and could potentially be had for cheaper than his brother. And wouldn’t it be cool a few years down the road to have twins starting at both fullback spots for Spurs?
Zaniolo appears to be another option at attacking midfielder should Eriksen depart for Real Madrid, and the Guardian recently suggested that Toby Alderweireld could be used as a make-weight for the 20 year old Roma player who is valued at around £40m. Zaniolo is another young player who is just emerging into first team football, and Spurs could consider trying to snap him up ahead of the curve. It’s hard to see him as anything but a plan B behind Lo Celso, though.
Should Alderweireld move on, Spurs will face a decision on whether to replace him, promote someone like Cameron Carter-Vickers, or use a utility player like Eric Dier. Should they opt to move for another incoming player, they have been linked with 23-year old Danish international and Sampdoria defender Andersen. However, Lyon appears to be leading the race for his signature, with a €25m deal possibly wrapping up yet this week.
Donny van de Beek
There haven’t been a whole lot of solid rumors connecting Tottenham with the Ajax playmaker, but Spurs are said to have been one of several clubs who are tracking him along with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester United. Van de Beek had 16 goals and 12 assists for Ajax last season, but they apparently want £50m for him, and he’s generally seen as a B or C option at attacking midfield for a lot of really good clubs. He’ll go somewhere, but nobody’s sure where yet.
After 517 days without a signing, it would be surprising if Spurs were done in the transfer market despite the Clarke and Ndombele additions. There’s just too much dead wood in the current squad and too many holes to fill. But there are a lot of moving pieces at play here, and it will be a while — possibly right to the close of the window — before we know who’s staying and who’s going, and what Spurs’ net spend will look like when all is said and done.