As the transfer market continues to puff itself up to even greater dimensions, straining against credulity and common sense, one club have stood alone. Tottenham Hotspur, second in the Premier League last season, have made over £75m from sales of players, but have bought ...
... which we’re sure violates at least one Premier League bylaw.
Anyway, this caution follows from the fact that Spurs have become pretty damn good within the confines of a strict wage structure. As such, anybody that might reasonably improve them is probably going to end up being too expensive. Particularly since there’s a new stadium to be paid for. And one consequence of all this is that their players are, by the standards of the league, markedly underpaid.
Enter Danny Rose, who has been talking to the Sun. Apparently the England left-back is generally underwhelmed by Tottenham’s business over the last few seasons, and would like the club to avoid players that “you have to Google and say: ‘Who’s that?’”. He also thinks that he needs to get a shift on, career-wise:
I am reaching my peak and have probably only got one big contract left in me. Time is running out and I do want to win trophies. I don’t want to play football for 15 years and not have one trophy or one medal.
As for the north? Well:
I will say this too, I will play up north. I don’t know exactly when but I will get back up north and play some football somewhere. I am going to make it my priority before I retire to play football up there. I have been away for over 10 years now and I don’t get to see my mum that often. I’m not saying I want out but if something came to me that was concrete, I’d have no qualms about voicing my opinions to anyone at the club.
Now, Manchester United have been linked with Rose quite a bit over this summer. With Luke Shaw still some distance from full fitness and even further away from fulfilling his potential, there’s an obvious gap at left-back (or left wing-back) that Rose would comfortably improve.
On the other hand, he’ll definitely be exceptionally expensive, and it’ll take ages to get Daniel Levy to agree to sell him. Also, you have to wonder if his form over the last few years owes as much to Mauricio Pochettino’s system and style, and his excellent teammates, as it does to Rose’s own inherent amazingness. Certainly, he’s never shown quite the same stuff for England.
Then there’s Shaw. Rose is 27, and if he arrives for big money it will be with the promise of a first-team place. Which means that Shaw is either looking at three or more years as a back-up or, more likely, at leaving. That could be the sensible move for the club, of course, since his form and fitness have been all over the place since he arrived. But it would still be something of a shame, particularly given all the positive noises that have emerged over the summer.
Ultimately, buying players from Spurs is never easy, and tBB still thinks that the likeliest outcome here is that Rose gets a bollocking from Pochettino, a cold shoulder from Levy, and is forced to spend at least one more season pottering up and down Spurs’ left flank. Meanwhile, Matteo Darmian starts every game at left-back until Shaw is fit. (And, likely, most of them afterwards. Sigh.)