Nobody has to tell Tottenham Hotspur fans just how important this upcoming summer transfer window is going to be for the short and medium term future of the club. Managing Director of Football Fabio Paratici has a tall order ahead of him as he continues to work towards reshaping the club in Antonio Conte’s image.
Near the top of the wishlist is an honest-to-god rotation option for Harry Kane. This has been a thorny problem for Spurs for years now — such is Kane’s stature at Spurs that a lot of players don’t want to come because they know they’re going to be stuck behind a guy who can’t be dragged off the pitch with a team of wild horses.
But maybe that could change this summer? Kane has started to show signs that he’s not able to play twice a week consistently and maintain a high level of performance, and so finding a player to not only rotate for him but also — potentially — play alongside him would be incredibly useful.
According to one source, Spurs may have identified one target. Spanish journalist Gerard Romero is claiming (via numerous aggregator accounts) that Tottenham have made an offer for Barcelona and former Manchester United forward Memphis Depay.
The club interested is Tottenham Hotspur. They want the Dutch forward in their team. [@gerardromero]— barcacentre (@barcacentre) March 14, 2022
So first, we should be careful here. This is being reported by numerous Barcelona (and now Tottenham) aggregator accounts and by Spanish daily AS, but unless I missed something I can’t find mention of it anywhere on Romero’s Twitter feed. That likely means that he said it on Spanish television or radio somewhere, but it’s worth being a touch skeptical about the veracity of the source. That said, Gerard Romero is a trusted source for Barcelona and Spanish football, so it’s definitely a rumor that we should be paying attention to.
That said, Memphis has been playing very well at Barca since signing for them this past summer. He’s currently Barca’s top scorer with ten goals and two assists (0.76 G+A/90), and has shown an ability in recent seasons to help create as many chances as he puts away. However, the implication is that the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ferran Torres means Barca might be willing to sell and that there isn’t necessarily a guaranteed place for Memphis next season.
Depay is 28 years old now, hardly a spring chicken, but he’s a player who absolutely could rotate in for Kane at whatever European level Spurs find themselves in next season and could also play alongside him should Conte opt to do so. He was offered moderately high wages (£112k/wk) but according to Goal España Barca’s financial difficulties resulted in his salary being negotiated down to £80k/wk. That would mean Spurs could likely offer him a healthy bump in wages if he wants to come to North London.
Most Premier League fans know Memphis as a player who kind of flopped while at United, but he’s been a solid player at Barca and at Lyon, where he averaged 13 goals and 9 assists per season over five years. Obviously with Kane nearing the end of his career at Spurs (one way or another) it’s better to target a younger player than one with little resale value, but his Depay’s wages aren’t nuts and can probably be had for a reasonable fee.
It’s still early days, and no one is saying that a pre-agreement is imminent here. It’s only March! But it does show that Paratici is looking at options already. Spurs fans were already excited about the possibility of signing Paulo Dybala, and this feels like it’d be in a similar mold. I wouldn’t hate it at all.