Dejan Kulusevski has been one of Tottenham Hotspur’s most effective players since joining the club in January. Along the way he’s not only become one of Spurs’ best ever January window signings, but arguably one of the most impactful January reinforcements of any Premier League player, ever.
Technically, Kulusevski is only at Spurs on loan. According to the Evening Standard, Spurs are going to rectify that situation this summer in short order by exercising a clause in his loan contract and signing him permanently.
Deki’s signing was a Paratici loan-to-buy option, a favored tactic by Spurs’ Italian Director of Football, and is turning out to be an especially shrewd piece of business. The Standard notes that Kulusevski’s initial loan was for 18 months — a long, relatively atypical loan — with a guaranteed £8.3m loan fee, but with a clause whereby Spurs could sign him permanently this summer for a further £24.9m. The length of the loan was a hedge for Spurs in the event that things didn’t really work out, but buying Kulusevski out at the earliest possible opportunity results in a total fee of just £33.2m. Based on his fit for Conte’s system and his incredible run of form lately, that’s one hell of a bargain.
The Standard goes on to report that Spurs could’ve opted to wait to sign Deki until the summer of 2023, but the price would go up to £29.1m if they qualified for the Champions League. Frankly, it’s a no-brainer for Spurs to just do the deal now.
This is sort of a “duh, of course they will” kind of story, but it does illustrate Deki’s importance to Tottenham both now and going forward, and also give a little more weight to the idea that Conte isn’t going anywhere next season. If Conte sees Kulusevski as a permanent member of his squad and is already planning for the future with him in the side, it sure doesn’t seem likely that he’s simultaneously looking for an escape hatch, does it?