Did you think that the rumors connecting Real Madrid midfielder Isco with a move to Tottenham Hotspur were dead? NOPE! Now that we’re a month and a half out from the close of the summer transfer window, the Isco story has been given fresh life.
The latest, reported by Tom Collomosse in the Evening Standard, states that Spurs haven’t dropped their interest in Isco after making an attempt for him this past summer, and the club is continuing to monitor his progress at Real Madrid.
You might remember that Isco and James Rodriguez were both reportedly up for sale by Madrid this summer as they tried to trim their squad due to (lol) financial concerns. Florentino Perez was apparently a fan of James, which made Isco the odd man out. The last time we wrote about this on deadline day, Isco was reportedly deciding between a move (likely a loan) to Spurs, a loan to his old club Malaga, and staying at Madrid and fighting for his spot.
Well, he’s still at Madrid. And his situation really hasn’t changed all that much: five appearances in all competitions for a total of 192 minutes, the majority coming off the bench. No goals, no assists. It’s abundantly clear at this point that Isco really doesn’t have much of a future at the Bernabeu and he could leave Madrid as early as this January if his game time doesn’t increase.
Putting the cart way, way in front of the horse for a second, there is the question of how Isco would fit into what appears to be an already crowded Tottenham attacking midfield. Spurs are already trying to rotate match minutes for Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Son Heung-Min, and Moussa Sissoko, and that’s not even including GN N’Koudou and Josh Onomah who are waiting in the wings.
However, the argument for taking Isco either in January or next summer remains the same as it was in this summer’s transfer window: he’s a really freakin’ good player who’s still only 24 and who could add a lot to Spurs’ attack. Yes, Isco found himself on the outside looking in at Madrid, but that should not be considered a mark of failure: there are lots of very good players who could never consistently break through into one of the best teams in club football.
The sticking point would of course be fees and wages. However, Total Sportek suggests that Isco’s currently only at £60,000/wk at Madrid, and with the club apparently eager to sell before his contract expires at the end of next season, any concrete interest from Spurs could turn into something like a Rafael Van der Vaart-esque deal when all’s said and done.
At Spurs, Isco would move into a crowded midfield, but would provide Mauricio Pochettino with the best kind of headache: how to implement a very good player in a way that maximizes Spurs’ offensive potential amidst a myriad of competitions. It could be an ideal place for him to re-invent himself.
Just last week while speaking about his future, Isco said "If I've still only made a few appearances by the end of the season, I'll look elsewhere. At 24 years of age, I have the right to better myself." There’s a lot that has to happen before we start seriously talking about Isco to Spurs, but I have to admit to still being a little giddy that the possibility still exists.