Well, this is pleasant news to wake up to! Tottenham Hotspur have made official the signing of 18-year old central defender and England U20 international Ashley Phillips. He joins Spurs from Blackburn Rovers for a fee of £2m.
We are delighted to announce the signing of 18-year-old defender Ashley Phillips— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 5, 2023
This is a signing that we knew was coming but I don’t think anyone expected an announcement this early on a Saturday morning. Tottenham thought they were signing the 6’4” defender earlier in the week for a negotiated fee of £3m, with the player agreeing to come, but Blackburn got greedy and tried to ask Spurs to pay upwards of £9.5m including escalators. However, there was apparently a purchase clause of £2m that kicked in on Friday, and with the player already having passed a medical and no other clubs entering the fray, Spurs were able to wait it out until that release clause kicked in.
Phillips is a massive defender in stature and highly rated at the U20 level, having been compared to a young Virgil van Dijk. He’s a product of Blackburn’s academy and made his first team debut at age 17. He’s a player who is almost certainly one for the future, which makes it slightly curious that Spurs are pulling out the stops on social media to announce his signing. That said, he’s clearly a player with a big future and this is an exciting signing. Definitely the kind of player who could thrive at Spurs under Ange Postecoglou in the coming years.
Welcome to Tottenham, Ash!