Over the past 48 hours, Tottenham Hotspur as a club have been one of the main storylines in the transfer window. After roughly five to six weeks of minimal transfer window activity, outside of the departure of Juan Foyth, Tottenham have started to make swift and significant progress towards bringing in new players and facilitating departures.
We have talked in detail about the ‘deadwood’ on the roster and how a significant refresh has been needed for quite some time now. Depending on how Nuno Espírito Santo lines up the squad next season, there will continue to be more outgoings in the next few weeks. With that in mind, in the past few days reports have circulated that Tottenham have more financial capability than they led on and that they do not necessarily have to sell players to buy players. Additionally, it has been mentioned that this week and next week will be particularly active weeks for the club, which is certainly music to Spurs supporters’ ears.
Given how Fabio Paratici operates, it should not come as a surprise for links to new players to pop up on a daily basis. After the links of centerbacks Milan Škriniar and Jules Koundé dried up, it circulated this week that Spurs were working towards bringing Atalanta defender Cristian Romero to north London.
Just a day later, Tottenham followed up their rumored pursuit of Romero with another pop of a story, this time with solid reports that the club will swap long-time club servant Érik Lamela along with €25M to Sevilla for highly-regarded youngster Bryan Gil. After such a quiet start to the offseason, Tottenham’s rumored and reported business has been sneaky good, like a thief in the night.
With Paratici now in charge of the football side of operations, which leaves Levy to focus solely on the financial aspect of the club, Spurs supporters should continue to expect good bits of business from the Italian. Gil, Romero, and Romero’s Atalanta teammate Pierluigi Gollini all look like serious improvements to the club, but looking at Gollini in particular provides us a use case of a bit of business that can be expected from a football-mind such as Paratici’s.
Yesterday, news broke that suggested that Spurs reached an agreement with Atalanta to bring goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini in on loan with the possibility of a permanent signing. Many may not have expected goalkeeper to be the first position to be addressed this offseason, but perhaps the perfect opportunity came for Spurs to grasp. The future of Hugo Lloris, at 34 years of age, is truly uncertain. And with just one more season on his deal, the signing of Gollini gives Tottenham some wiggle-room in the event that a sufficient bid comes in for Lloris or if the French international captain opts to wind down his contract. But where Tottenham have turned a corner in comparison to years past is actually in getting ahead of a player’s decline or fallout.
Despite some evidence of declining physical ability the past few seasons, Lloris is still one of the best shot-stoppers in the Premier League. If Tottenham is hoping for a rebuild to get new faces in the locker room, parting ways with Lloris would be a significant move in that direction. And while I am still a bit new to Gollini and his game, Paratici has identified him as a player that Spurs could pass the baton to in net.
But in particular, the bit of business that is most significant here is that this is the type of low-risk, high-reward type of move that could reap serious benefits for Tottenham. As Fabrizio Romano reported, the details of the signing are basically a two-year loan deal, with the first being a loan through the conclusion of 2022 with also an option to extend the loan until 2023. Should Spurs ever pursue to permanently buy the Italian goalkeeper, it would cost them just around €15m.
While there are reportedly some obligation aspects of the deal that would force Spurs to trigger the buy clause, Spurs will seemingly have the ability to test out if Gollini is worth keeping while also giving them two years of security and cover in goal if Lloris does end up pursuing a new challenge. And if Gollini does not impress, it also gives Spurs enough time to give younger goalkeepers such as Alfie Whiteman or Brandon Austin an opportunity to continue their development and perhaps be given a spot in the squad.
It should also be worth mentioning here that many had questioned whether Gollini would be classified as a homegrown player or not considering he spent time at Manchester United’s youth academy. However, a leg injury ultimately led to United pushing back his registration date, thus making him a non-homegrown player. As Lloris is a non-homegrown player, perhaps the signing of Gollini could push Spurs to look for suitors for Lloris as well.
This is the type of signing that a proper football mind would make. In this deal, Paratici has identified a position of potential need, albeit not the most important, while finding a capable target and thinking ahead of the futures of many players at the position in the process. It is these little bits of business that can add up and truly be of huge importance for Spurs. It is certainly the start, but moves like these provide a glimpse of what may be to come under Paratici if he is truly in command of Spurs’ future.