According to the Evening Standard, Tottenham Hotspur are set to make a defensive reinforcement, albeit one for the future. The report states that Spurs will be able to purchase 18-year old 6’4” defensive phenom Ashley Phillips for £2m on Friday when a transfer clause in his contract kicks in, and because Blackburn overplayed their hand.
Here’s the story, apparently — Tottenham have been tracking Phillips for a while now and made an offer to Blackburn a couple of weeks ago to purchase him for £3m + £2m in contract add-ons. That’s a pretty good deal, Phillips wanted to join Spurs, and even went as far as to complete a medical at Hotspur Way last week. But Blackburn suddenly altered the deal, Vader-in-Empire style, demanding £9.5m (£5m + £4.5m) and Spurs backed off.
However, Phillips apparently has a release clause of £2m that kicks in on August 4, and since no other clubs are likely to make an acceptable bid, Tottenham look like they’re going to get their man for the release clause price.
This was a ridiculous overplay from Blackburn who thought they could gently extort rich club Spurs for some extra cash for a player who could quite possibly turn into a monster defender in the Premier League. Truth is — they’re probably not wrong! That said, by getting a little too greedy, Blackburn have basically set £3m on fire and are set to lose their player anyway. The Standard says Phillips is “determined” to join Spurs this window.
Let’s be clear — Ash Phillips is NOT the first team central defender that Tottenham desperately need in this window, but he’s extremely well regarded as a young player, has already broken through into the Championship, and is an outstanding purchase in the mold of young players like Alfie Devine and Will Lankshear. This is a good buy and if he develops well there’s every chance we could start seeing him in defensive lineups for Spurs’ first teams in a few seasons. Hell, Spurs might want to consider sending him out on loan straight away.
A bit of good news in what’s been a pretty blah few weeks.