It would not be a summer transfer window if Tottenham Hotspur were not involved in rumors all over the place. Now with Fabio Paratici in place in the club’s Director of Football role, Tottenham are and will continue to be linked to any number of players, especially abroad.
A few seasons ago, Mauricio Pochettino had mentioned that the club would need to go through a “painful rebuild.” This past week, reports circulated that this rebuild could be coming as news surrounding the club have indicated that up to ten players could be on the club’s summer sell list. A number of players have fallen into the ‘deadwood’ category that we continue to see Spurs supporters use in discussing the club’s squad. With Tottenham’s ‘sell-to-buy’ policy in mind, Spurs will be hoping to sell off some of the players on their books to create space and financial wiggle-room to bring in new incoming players.
We have talked in detail over the past few months regarding the centerback position and how it has and will continue to be the focal point of Spurs’ summer plans. Tottenham seems to be on the verge of signing Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu any day now. And while the Japanese international looks to be a versatile piece who could play at centerback or right back, the rumors surrounding the movie seem to point to Tomiyasu playing the latter. This would likely make Serge Aurier, who has just one year left on his current deal, expendable with the club likely opting for last summer’s incoming addition Matt Doherty.
Tottenham have gone through great strides to improve the midfield, an area that was really a glaring weakness just two seasons ago. However, no player has yet to emerge in that ‘maestro’, creative-midfielder role that Christian Eriksen was so deadly in for such a long time in north London. However, Tottenham were rumored on Thursday to enter the conversation for talented Lyon attacking midfielder Houssem Aouar.
Being told that Tottenham have now also entered the race for Houssem Aouar. Arsenal are still keen on the Lyon playmaker but Spurs are in the conversation too now.— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) July 15, 2021
Fast forward a day later to Friday and French journalist Alexis Bernard is now reporting that not only are Spurs about to submit a bid for the player, but arch-rivals Arsenal have now backed out of talks with Lyon for the French midfielder. Look at what the UEFA Conference League will do for you!
Two summers ago, Spurs signed Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon. Ndombele has had an inconsistent tenure so far for Spurs, but this was a player that many top European clubs were looking at in the 2019 summer transfer window. Around the time Ndombele was signing for Spurs, rumors circulated that Ndombele wanted to come to Spurs to develop under Pochettino and that Spurs and Lyon had developed a decent business relationship. The result led to Ndombele becoming Tottenham’s most expensive transfer signing in the club’s history.
It is pretty well-known that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is one of the most difficult and strict negotiators in club football. After all, this is the same chairman who nickel-and-dimed with Aston Villa over a fee for Jack Grealish, who was just coming through the ranks at the time. Interestingly enough, Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas is cut from a similar cloth as Levy.
With that business relationship in mind and Tottenham’s reported interest in Aouar, perhaps Tottenham would be wise to add in Danish defender and Lyon player Joachim Andersen into the deal. In case you are forgetting, Andersen returned to his parent club Lyon at the conclusion of his Fulham loan deal in June, but the Danish reserve centerback is understood to be keen on a permanent deal to stay in the Premier League.
In a Fulham side riddled with holes and rostered by a ton of players on loan, Andersen was perhaps their biggest bright spot. While Andersen is not the quickest player, he is pretty consistent in the air, has a good understanding of defensive positioning in his box and can ping a good pass.
Additionally, Tottenham have been fans of Andersen dating all the way back to his days in Sampdoria. At the time, Toby Alderweireld’s contract was a bit uncertain after there was some rift between the Belgian defender and Pochettino. Oddly enough, Andersen and Alderweireld are a bit alike and Spurs could feel comfortable replacing Alderweireld with Andersen should the Belgian, who has expressed desire for a move back to Belgium, move elsewhere.
Of course, Tottenham’s aim should be to bring in a more-established defender than Andersen. The three top-level centerbacks Spurs have mainly been linked to are Inter’s Milan Škriniar, Sevilla’s Jules Koundé and Wolfsburg’s Maxence Lacroix. However, in the past few days, rumors have circulated that both Škriniar and Koundé have vetoed a move to Spurs in large part due to Tottenham not being in the Champions League. Moving down a bit on their list, Lacroix may not be as established as Škriniar or Koundé, but he has shown exceptional ability at a young age and also has potential to develop even further.
Regardless of whether the club can bring in a talent like Lacroix, it would behoove Spurs to invest in adding two centerbacks, thus making the argument for Andersen. If I am sitting here a month or two from now and Spurs were able to bring in defenders like Tomiyasu, Lacroix and Andersen, I would certainly say that improvements were made defensively.
Transfer conversations are extremely tricky and a lot of conversations with countless stakeholders go into the saga. If the reports of Spurs being interested in Aouar check out, Tottenham could be able to knock off two birds with one stone by adding Andersen into the conversation.
In such an important summer for Spurs and one that has already been cut short due to international play, Tottenham need to get on with their summer plans as soon as possible. Aouar and Andersen would be two good bits of business from a Spurs side that needs to phase out the ‘deadwood’ we discussed above and infuse new talent into the squad. If Tottenham can shed players like Aurier and Moussa Sissoko and bring in this Lyon duo instead, it would certainly be a good start to the summer for Tottenham.