Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League opponent this coming weekend is Nottingham Forest, a club that promoted to the top flight for the first time in 23 years. A lot of times, promoted clubs will make relatively few but smart purchases with the hope that it’s enough to stay up and so they can more heavily invest the following summer with a year of banked Premier League income.
Not Forest. They’ve essentially bought themselves a whole new team, have spent more than £125m this window, and apparently aren’t yet done. According to The Athletic (£), Forest are the latest club that has expressed an interest in signing Tottenham academy graduate and 23-year old CB Japhet Tanganga, and they want him permanently.
There has also been interest in the England Under-21 defender from fellow Premier League new boys Bournemouth, as well as from Italy, with AC Milan and Spurs still in talks over a possible deal. Napoli previously held an interest.
But Forest are the latest club to express an interest in Tanganga, who has been made available to leave Tottenham this summer.
We wrote earlier that the links between Tanganga and AC Milan have resurfaced, but Premier League interest is Premier League interest. Forest is the Mystery Box of top flight clubs — nobody really has any idea how good they actually are or will be once all their new signings have time to gel. (That’s one reason why playing them away in week 4 is probably better than later in the season.) It could be a very solid place for Tanganga to end up, assuming that he and Spurs have both decided that he’s not in the club’s long term plans.
Ultimately, I think it probably depends on what the offers are. The Athletic claims that Spurs want €20m (£16.8m) for Tanganga to leave permanently (the fact that this is in Euros likely implies that this is what we asked Milan to pay). That’s not a significant cash outlay for a Premier League club, though it’s likely more than a lot of continental clubs want to dish out. In fact, it’s almost exactly what Forest already paid for Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis.
On the other hand, if Forest get cold feet and Bournemouth are willing to pay a loan fee, that’d also be a good place for Japhet to land for a season. Honestly, I’m just glad that he’s attracting some interest from Premier League clubs, as I think he’s a player that could benefit a team in the bottom half of the table. Like, y’know, Liverpool or United.
It’s an interesting move. Conte has already publicly stated that he’d want another player in for any first team player that was to leave in this window, so if nothing else that might hold up a potential deal. But I wouldn’t hate Forest as a landing place for Japhet. With just over a week to go in the window, we won’t have too long to wait.