The £202m from player sales Tottenham could make to boost summer transfer war chest
and live on Freeview channel 276
And so, it is Ange Postecoglou. For weeks upon weeks, we have waited to see which unfortunate would fall just squarely enough in the centre of the Venn diagram between persuadable and desperately aspirational to assume the vacancy at Tottenham Hotspur, and at long last we have an answer.
The affable Australian, with his aesthetic and knack for silver-tongued wisdom like a used car salesman written into Eastenders to feud with Phil Mitchell for a few months, looks set to become the latest naive wanderer willing to try his luck at Spurs. Let’s just hope he isn’t killed off before Christmas.
Bigger reputations than his have come unravelled in north London. In recent seasons, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte have been reduced to chuntering husks of men, visibly wizened by the exertions of watching over a club that occasionally feels like the protracted consequence of an ancient pagan curse on ancestors long forgotten, and occasionally like an elaborate Nathan For You prank.
Perhaps Postecoglou will be different though. There are already optimistic mutterings among Spurs supporters that he might be the one who gets ‘it’. No concrete agreement on what ‘it’ is exactly - could be the Midas touch, could be scurvy - but whatever it takes to convince a weary fanbase that they might finally, finally, have turned a corner.
Regardless, if Ange is to have any hope of succeeding, he’s going to need support in the transfer market. This current Tottenham squad, even on paper, feels imbalanced and threadbare in places, and the sooner those deficiencies are addressed, the better chance the new boss has of making a positive impact. There are reasons to trust Postecoglou too; his recruitment at Celtic has been nothing short of stellar and it is an intriguing prospect to imagine what he could do with a proper, proper war chest.
To fully maximise said chest, however, Spurs may need to offload a few burdensome trinkets, starting with a player who has gone as far as to admit that he actively wants to leave the club this summer. Hugo Lloris will depart north London as that most paradoxical of entities - a legend with nothing tangible to show for his efforts. The French goalkeeper has captained Tottenham to the brink of many a triumph, but no further. Will he be satisfied with his lot? The World Cup winner’s medal under his pillow will probably help him sleep a little easier a night, yes, but there must be the odd regret that drifts around in the back of his psyche every now and again, like a dandelion seed on a chilly breeze.
According to Transfermarkt - where we will be sourcing all of the valuations in this piece, for the sake of argument and consistency - he is worth around £3.5 million. Whether Spurs get even that much for him remains to be seen.
In defence, adjustments are needed. Only five teams conceded more goals than Tottenham in the Premier League this season, and they all finished in the bottom six. Those of an accusatory nature might suggest that Spurs’ porous tendencies were the root cause of their inability to qualify for Europe. They might be right.
Anyways, if you consider that back line, Clement Lenglet’s loan from Barcelona is due to expire, Eric Dier looks likely to stick around for a while longer, and Cristian Romero is a World Cup winner whose contract runs until 2027. As such, there are only really two obvious candidates for pawnbroking exits; Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga. Are both fine players in their own right? Of course. Would either be sorely missed, especially if new and improved replacements were adequately sourced? You suspect not. Together, they could fetch around £25 million, if we’re taking the conservative estimates of Transfermarkt into account.
The writing may also be on the wall for Emerson Royal. The Brazilian full-back has featured regularly enough this season, but has been frequently displaced by Pedro Porro, and is perpetually being linked with some kind of exit or other. At £21.5 million or thereabouts, and with Djed Spence waiting in the wings to wait in the wings, this one could make a lot of sense.
Further up the pitch, there are decisions to be made. Is Ryan Sessegnon good enough to consistently operate at the level that Spurs need him to? Is it worth keeping Ivan Perisic for another season and flirting with the very real possibility of losing him on a free transfer next summer? Will Yves Bissouma be given a more elongated chance to remind the club why they spent so much money on him just last summer? You suspect that the answer to all three might be a tentative affirmative, but even in the event of Tottenham cashing in on, say, Sessegnon, that’s £19 million in the coffers right there.
And oh boy, we haven’t even mentioned the loanees yet - Djed Spence aside. Perhaps there are futures in north London for the likes of Destiny Udogie, Tanguy Ndombele - according to recent whispers, at least - but it would be no shock to see the ragtag crew of Giovani Lo Celso, Harry Winks, Bryan Gil, Sergio Reguilon, and Joe Rodon moved on, permanently or otherwise. Assuming their Tottenham days are numbered, that could be as much as - *checks abacus* - £55 million, if the Transfermarkt boffins’ personal game of The Price is Right is to be believed.
In total, then Tottenham could stand to make £124 million from incoming transfer fees alone this summer, and that’s before we’ve even approached the Harry Kane palaver. Obviously, Spurs will not want to sell their talisman - so often the only bright spark in the gloomy limbo of their discontent - but with his contract set to expire next year, and with rampant interest from just about every conceivable direction, they may be begrudgingly forced to chow down on the bullet. If they do cash in, Transfermarkt believe they could get around £78 million. Daniel Levy and co. will almost certainly demand around double that, if not substantially more.
Even embracing that lowball valuation, however, a sale would take Postecoglou’s transfer budget to £202 million, plus whatever Spurs already have tucked away beneath the mattress already. Just imagine the damage Ange could do with all that.