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Paratici’s “long list” transfer strategy at Tottenham is smart, but anxiety-inducing

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Think of the Spurs bloggers, Fabio!

US Sassuolo v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Have you noticed that Tottenham Hotspur have suddenly been linked to a whole raft of defenders over the past two weeks or so? That’s not by accident — that’s Fabio Paratici playing the odds.

According to Football.London’s Alasdair Gold, Tottenham’s new Managing Director of Football takes a long-list approach to transfer targets, sometimes negotiating for as many as ten potential targets for a single open position, before deciding on one at the end of the process.

That process is currently playing out in Spurs’ search for a new central defender. In recent days and weeks, Spurs have been linked to Joachim Andersen, Jules Kounde, Nikola Milenkovic, Maxence Lacroix, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Milan Skriniar, plus whatever other targets that may be in process that we just haven’t heard about.

The exception to this list might be Tomiyasu, whose transfer seems to be close to completion and who would likely be signed as a RB/CB hybrid utility player. But that’s a big list, and the explanation of Paratici’s methods now makes this raft of rumors make a lot more sense.

In truth, it’s a smart approach. Going from a long-list as opposed to targeting just one or two different options means that Paratici can play agent and club negotiations against one another, and can potentially result in a better deal for Spurs than otherwise. It’s a lot of what Gold calls “white noise” but it’s a pretty effective manner to obfuscate which target is the one you really want.

The downside of this approach is that it’s going to make it a pain in the butt to cover as a journalist, or (in my case) as a blogger trying to cover the team. Multiple transfer targets means that we won’t really know which link is the RIGHT one until the very end of the process, and maybe not until just before the player is signed. It means a lot more transfer rumors coming from likely less reliable sources, and while that means more wheat, it also means a LOT more chaff. It’s certainly going to keep us all on our toes for as long as he’s in charge.

In short, Bat Country just got a whole lot bigger, and wilder. That’s going to be fun, but also anxiety-inducing. Think of the bloggers, Fabio!