Spurs' transfer window is one James Maddison away from perfection
It’s a season where there is so much transfer gossip that it is rumoured (you see what I did there?) Warner Bros are planning a new season of Gossip Girl surrounding the EPL transfer window.
You don’t believe me? I don’t see why not, since I’m pretty much doing what all EPL reporters are doing during this season, quoting rumours and unnamed sources to sensationalise stories such as Kylian Mbappe being chased by all the biggest clubs in the world, including Lion City Sailors.
WATCH: Mbappe's first goal in the 2022/2023 season
Us fans know better though, and that’s the reason why we refresh Fabrizio Romano’s Twitter account every five minutes, as the veteran journalist is the most reliable transfer news provider short of official club statements.
The media latches on every word a manager says to imply impending transfer activities. Like how Antonio Conte said, when asked about outgoing players, that if one goes out, one must come.
Cue the rehashing of Spurs signing Nicolo Zaniolo and Adama Traore, peppered with “fresh” rumours of Trevoh Chalobah, Hakim Ziyech and pretty much every other player who aren’t getting game time.
And yes, it gets fans talking about who they want, who they don’t, and so on, which is why such stories are clickbait gold for the media.
So I figured, it’s time for me to jump onto the bandwagon, and I’m a pretty good jumper, having gotten the bronze medal in High Jump during our school Sports Day. Yes, there were only three contestants, but a medal’s a medal, how it is won is irrelevant.
Allow me to cut through the crap - any transfer rumour about Spurs and a foreign player should be thrown into the rubbish bin. Because at the moment, where Spurs are struggling is getting enough homegrown players registered for the Champions League, which requires four trained at the club and four trained by the association.
The Champions League allows only 17 non-homegrown players, and Spurs now have 19. As such, the club has prioritised moving out Sergio Reguilon, who has fallen down the pecking order in Conte’s regime, and possibly one or both of Pape Matar Sarr and Bryan Gil. If all three leave, then a foreign signing is possible, but that’s a bit of musical chairs to play, and quite frankly, I’ve always thought musical chairs was a morally bankrupt game that taught kids to adopt a “me first” mentality.
WATCH: A look back at Reguilon's first season at Spurs
But the issue is the homegrown list. The eight players Spurs have are split into five club trained and three association trained - which is fine. But it’s clear Conte doesn’t rate Harry Winks and wants to move him out. In that likely scenario, it would not make sense for Conte to move Japhet Tanganga over to AC Milan, as that would leave the squad short of one club trained player.
Moving Winks out, however, paves the way for Conte to buy English, or at least England trained.
And the word is that Spurs need a playmaker, hence the Zanolo or Ziyech connection. But that doesn’t make sense, unless the additional homegrown slot vacated by Winks is taken up by Chalobah, and Sarr, Gil and Reguilon all leave so that Zanolo or Ziyech can come.
Yes, I realise your head is spinning and it might actually be easier to card count at Blackjack.
What makes most sense to me, however, is that Spurs should break the bank for James Maddison, Leicester City’s playmaker who must know that he is good enough to be playing Champions League football.
WATCH: Maddison's stunning free-kick for Aberdeen
Maddison played some of the best football of his life last season in a mediocre Leicester squad, and somehow still ended up with 18 goals and 12 assists, and he’s carried that form into this season where he’s already racked up 2 goals and 1 assist in 3 Premier League matches.
He’s 25 years young, he’s English and he’s EPL proven, and he’s probably the best attacking talent outside the top-6 club.
Signing Maddison would signal Spurs’ ambition to be a title challenger, and not just be happy with top-4 again, because he’s exactly the player Spurs need to fill the void that Christian Eriksen left. With all due respect to Richarlison, Ivan Perisic and Yves Bissouma, Maddison would be Spurs’ marquee signing this season.
The big clubs all had their marquee signings already. Manchester City with Erling Haaland, Liverpool with the head-butting Darwin Nunez, Arsenal with Gabriel Jesus, Chelsea with Raheem Sterling and now Manchester United with Casemiro. Now wouldn’t be a bad time for Daniel Levy to be FOMO.
Of course, knowing Spurs, it’s more likely that we would sign Daniel James than Maddison, because Levy thought that Giovani Lo Celso was just like Bruno Fernandes.
That said, it’s been a pretty good transfer window for Spurs. Now, if we can just move that up to perfection, we might not need to pull hair to get a point in an away London derby.