The transfer window is both the best and worst time of the year for any supporter. Everyone has hopes and dreams of landing the next hidden gem from the second division of any country or hearing word of that superstar signing on the dotted line. Those hopes and dreams can also be crushed into a fine powder, much like the 2018 Tottenham Hotspur Summer Window!
Normally, we have an ongoing series called Daniel Levy’s Imaginary Shortlist where we highlight some of the targets the club are linked to. We may yet get to that, but the pandemic has tightened up the window and we need to try some new things, so welcome to a game called “Keep, Sell, or Loan?” where we look at every player on the roster and decide what to do with them.
Hugo Lloris: KEEP
Paulo Gazzaniga: KEEP
Alfie Whiteman: KEEP
Brandon Austin: LOAN (and re-sign)
This is a pretty easy list to get through. Hugo’s the captain and was one of the best players for Tottenham this season, despite suffering what was thought to be a catastrophic elbow injury back in the fall. He somehow recovered and put in some amazing performances. Spurs aren’t about to sell the French #1 any time soon, so he’ll be between the pipes next season again.
Gazzaniga has proven to be a quality backup. He’s not perfect and has his occasional hiccup, but he’s a capable shot stopper and is willing to be the backup to one of the best in the world.
The time has come to see if Whiteman’s good enough for the senior squad. He signed a new deal back in December and was brought up to the first team in March. He’s expected to be the third keeper now that Michel Vorm has left the club on a free transfer.
Brandon Austin is only being included because he spent the second half of the season on loan at Viborg FF in Norway and, from what I’ve read, did pretty well for himself. The club are extremely high on him and another loan should be in his future. His contract expires next summer so Spurs should probably lock him down if they like him that much.
Toby Alderweireld: KEEP
Eric Dier: KEEP
Davinson Sanchez: KEEP
Japhet Tanganga: KEEP
Juan Foyth: SELL
Cameron Carter-Vickers: SELL
Toby, Eric, Davinson and Japhet are not going anywhere. Mourinho seems to have his rotation between the first three and Tanganga was a bit banged up following the restart, but Mou seemed quite high on him and he’s signed a new contract. Nothing’s going to change with these four except who starts based on form.
Foyth’s time at the club is probably up. He’s shown some promise, but he’s also had some blunders and was almost a shoo-in to commit one or two huge mistakes a match. He’s been linked to Leeds United, who are managed by fellow Argentine Marcelo Bielsa. It seems like a perfect match, but the links have cooled a bit. Foyth has said he wants to try and fight for a place, but he’s fifth choice at best.
Carter-Vickers has one more year on his Spurs contract but this is the summer the club will sever ties with him. He’s spent the last three seasons on various loans, including Sheffield, Ipswich, Swansea, Stoke and Luton Town. He played quite well for Luton in the Championship this past season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the second-tier club make a formal offer for him.
Ben Davies: KEEP
Serge Aurier: SELL
Ryan Sessegnon: LOAN
Kyle Walker-Peters: SELL
Danny Rose: SELL
Dennis Cirkin: U-23/LOAN
Now it gets fun!
Ben Davies is locked in at the left fullback position. While it feels like he’s been playing football for about twenty years now, he’s only 27 and has plenty left in the tank. The Welsh International has proven to Mourinho he can be reliable in the system and he’s more than happy at the club.
Here’s where it gets complicated: Serge Aurier is the best right back at Tottenham Hotspur. He’s also an incredibly frustrating player. There are times he looks absolutely world class and we sing his praises. He then turns around and has one or two terrible matches. There is absolutely a timeline where Spurs keep Aurier because they don’t really have a choice, but he’s been linked with a move away to the likes of A.C. Milan. Spurs are linked with a few fullbacks like Norwich’s Max Aarons and Atalanta’s Timothy Castagne. If Spurs can get a replacement, Aurier is probably as good as gone. The same goes for Kyle Walker-Peters, who has all but his right foot out the door and will probably land at Southampton after a successful loan stint, though Fulham are trying their best to gazump the move.
Ryan Sessegnon’s first season with the club did not go as planned. He started with a hamstring injury that kept him out of action until November. He made a few starts in the crowded holiday schedule, then started one match against Norwich in January. He’s either been left out of the squad or on the bench since. Mourinho has said he likes his potential, but it’s clear he doesn’t think he’s ready. With Fulham now back in the Premier League, a loan to Craven Cottage might make sense to get him playing time.
Danny Rose’s time with the Spurs is definitely done. After going on loan to Newcastle, it seems the club are shopping him around to get the best deal possible. Toon want him back, but there are a few other clubs interested in his services. Rose has one year left on his deal so the time to sell is now, even if it hurts like hell. We’ll miss you, Danny.
Dennis Cirkin is a name we all saw a couple of times this season on the bench. Another player that the club are quite high on, Cirkin is still on a youth contract but is expected to get a pro deal soon. He’s just 18 years old, but he has a lot of potential. If he signs a pro deal, a loan isn’t out of a question.
Giovani Lo Celso: KEEP
Tanguy Ndombele: KEEP
Moussa Sissoko: KEEP? SELL?
Harry Winks: SELL
Gedson Fernandes: KEEP (not permanently)
Oliver Skipp: KEEP/LOAN
I can practically hear the pitchforks being sharpened, but hear me out.
Let’s get the easy ones out of the way: Lo Celso is amazing and should start basically every match. That’s a no-brainer. Tanguy Ndombele had a hell of a rough first season (putting it mildly) but is an incredible talent. Mourinho and him need to patch things up and get on the same page in a hurry, and I don’t think these links to other clubs are going to amount to anything.
Moussa Sissoko’s transformation at the club is one I didn’t see coming. He’s been an absolute rock the past two seasons and his battery just never seems to run out. He clearly has a place in the squad and will log plenty of minutes. On the flip side, he turns 31 in two weeks and if the club want to recoup as much of the £30m they paid, this is the summer to do it. If the right deal comes along, I think the club will consider it but I’m not going to be upset if he stays, nor will I be surprised.
Then there’s Harry Winks. Admittedly, I’m not the biggest Winks fan but when he’s played in his proper position, he’s more than serviceable. The issue for Winks is that when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg eventually comes to this club, he is going to find himself on the bench. He’s not a true defensive midfielder and has only played that position out of necessity. He’s not better than Lo Celso, who played in the CM role until Dele went down with an injury. He doesn’t have the strength of Sissoko or the creativity of Ndombele. He’s workman-like and can put in shifts, but where does he actually fit in this squad if PEH is here? Can he be depth? Certainly, and that’s not outside the realm of possibility. He’s signed through 2024 so it would take an offer of probably £30m to get him, if not more. Spurs have holes to fill at other positions and, if all reporting is correct, will need some sales to fund them. If that offer comes in for Winks? Sell and don’t look back.
Gedson Fernandes has one more year on his loan with the club, and while he has raw talent, I don’t think he’s going to get that many minutes. He’s depth, plain and simple. When his loan is done, unless he’s taken an amazing god-like step forward, he’ll be back in Portugal next summer.
Skipp saw some playing time late in the season and might be in Mourinho’s plans, especially if my mildly warm take of selling Winks becomes reality. He turns 20 in September so a loan would do him some good if he’s surplus.
Dele Alli: KEEP
Steven Bergwijn: KEEP
Erik Lamela: SELL
Dele’s hamstring injury basically wrecked his 2019/20 season. It seemed to bother him randomly at times, even though he still produced some solid goals in the first half of the season. 2020 itself was harsh for him. He only scored two goals and was basically dead on his feet for all of February and March before the shutdown occurred. When he came back, he still looked hampered. Mourinho all but shut him down except for the final ten minutes against Crystal Palace. Dele has something to prove this season, and I look forward to seeing what he produces.
Steven Bergwijn announced his presence in the loudest way with a spectacular goal in his debut against Manchester City, then was injured right before the shutdown. He came back healthy and didn’t look bad, but it seemed fitness might have been an issue. Bergwijn’s social media has shown he’s already training for next season after just a short break. That’s exactly how you show everyone at the club and the supporters that you are hungry.
I love Erik Lamela. I don’t hide it. I will forever be a member of the Temple of Sh*thousery built by the man who sharpens his elbows. I will be plenty happy if Mourinho opts to keep him for another season, but I think the time has come to see what Spurs can get for the Argentine. The last of the Bale Seven, Erik logged just under 1700 minutes this season thanks to a hamstring injury that cost him eight weeks. Mourinho utilized him as a super sub almost exclusively, which is probably his best role now. There have been links to a couple of Serie A clubs, including a return to Roma; the club who sold him to Spurs. If this is it for him, I will be crying the entire time I write the farewell article.
Harry Kane: KEEP
Heung-Min Son: KEEP
Lucas Moura: KEEP
Troy Parrott: LOANED TO MILLWALL
Jack Clarke: LOAN
Good news, everyone! Harry Kane may not be broken! After coming out of the blocks stuck in neutral post-restart, England’s captain bagged seven goals to close out the season. He finished with 24 goals for the club despite the injury he suffered in January that would have effectively ended his season in normal years. We’ll have another piece coming up here going more in depth on him, but he’s not going anywhere and he looks poised to make the upcoming season a big one.
Despite winning every club award for best player of the season, and maybe this is just me remembering how depressing this season was, but it still felt like a down year for Sonny. He scored 18 goals and chipped in 12 assists in 41 appearances, despite breaking his arm in February. The stoppage in the season allowed him to return to Korea for his mandatory military training and get back in plenty of time for the restart, scoring two goals with three assists to help Spurs climb into a Europa League spot. Sonny’s an integral part of this attack and will be relied upon heavily.
Lucas Moura had a wild 2019/20 season. Forced to play striker in January because nobody was left, the Brazilian had some rough outings when the team was arguably at its worst. Post-restart, Mourinho moved him out to the wing again and somehow flipped a switch in him. Some of his performances down the stretch were simply incredible, but there was no better match for him than against Arsenal. He had ten tackles that day and was a huge thorn in the Gunners’ side. He built off that performance and showed he’s more than just a pacey winger who can dribble. If he plays just as well next season, it will be difficult for anyone to take that spot from him.
Troy Parrott is officially on the Harry Kane path to greatness with his loan to Championship side Millwall, who probably spent their marketing budget for the next three seasons on the reveal video for him. It’s a great landing spot for him and he should get plenty of action in the second division.
Jack Clarke is a mystery to me and I don’t think I’m alone with that thought. I wish I could tell you anything about his progression, but given he played just 339 minutes all of last season, I have absolutely nothing to offer. He’s destined for another loan, hopefully somewhere that he can get more minutes.
So there you have it. By my totally unscientific calculations, this is what I have for potential sales just looking any various articles that have these players leaving. Obviously the values can fluctuate, but these seem like safe numbers:
Juan Foyth: £10m
Cameron Carter-Vickers: £3m
Kyle Walker-Peters: £12m
Serge Aurier: £20m
Danny Rose: £5m
Moussa Sissoko: £15m
Harry Winks: £30m
Erik Lamela: £15m
I will say that I highly doubt Spurs would sell both Sissoko and Winks, but one could definitely head toward the exit. If Spurs do sell both, they better be damn sure they’re fine with Skipp and Gedson as backup. If not, they need to have another player lined up to purchase.
Now, this is not gospel and is purely my opinion, but I think most of these are pretty spot-on. I know you’re going to have some strong opinions about a few of my takes and I look forward to seeing where you agree or disagree. Silly Season is officially in full swing and goes until October this year, so let the stupid rumors fly.