It is looking as though Wolverhampton Wanderers right back Matt Doherty is going to be the next Tottenham Hotspur signing of the summer. One day after reports that the two clubs were zeroing in on an agreement, Dan Kilpatrick in the Evening Standard is now reporting that the clubs are “finalizing the details” of the transfer that will see the 28-year old Irish international move to Spurs in a deal that is expected to be worth £15m plus add-ons.
On paper it seems like a bit of a sideways move. Doherty is a year older than Serge Aurier, and £15m isn’t much less than what Spurs are hoping to get in transfer fees for Serge. But Doherty is considered to be a player that better fits into the mold of what Jose Mourinho is looking for in an attacking fullback than Aurier, with the added bonus of making less of the mistakes that have plagued Aurier’s game since his signing in 2017.
Doherty v Aurier— smarterscout (@smarterscout) August 27, 2020
They played in different formations, so the comparison below is at RM/RWB and then Aurier at RB. Doherty has better ball retention and attacking output. The quality of their defending is similar, but they achieve it in different ways. Both good in the air. #COYS pic.twitter.com/lNaG0hbRId
It’s hard to imagine that Doherty is a long-term answer for Spurs at that position, but there aren’t that many really great young options at right back anyway — Max Aarons is perhaps the closest, but Spurs have cooled their interest in the Norwich defender over the past few weeks.
It’s also worth noting that Doherty recently changed agents, choosing Jorge Mendes as his representative going forward. Mourinho and Mendes have always had close ties — some might say too close — so there’s a little bit of extra person-stroking-their-chin-thinking-emoji going on here as well. If you’re a cynic (and we’re Spurs fans, so yeah), well, you have a little more stuff to chew on right now.
The deal isn’t quite done, but from what I’m reading it’s just a matter of ironing out a few details, and we could see Doherty holding a Spurs shirt in the next couple of days, or early next week.