This isn’t going well at all. With just days to go before the start of the new Premier League season, Spurs already find themselves stuck in a tactical Chinese finger trap. Some would argue, of their own making.
The North Londoners will travel to Tyneside on Sunday without a recognised right-back.
Kieran Trippier hobbled out of Wembley stadium with his ankle in a moon boot last weekend and is expected to miss at least a fortnight of action. So, unless Mauricio Pochettino plans to papier-mâché himself a replacement from the bundles of cash received for Kyle Walker last month, it’s Eric Dier who’ll be asked to relocate.
But what about Kyle Walker-Peters, I hear you ask, he’s sounds like an exciting prospect?
Pochettino will field that question:
“He is still so young and I think it’s too much for him.”
Elsewhere, Ian Wright has come up with an ingenious solution for Spurs’ current transfer window paralysis. It’s a simple enough plan, one I can’t believe we didn’t think of earlier: resign Gareth Bale.
“If they made one signing and it’s Gareth Bale… would people still talk about Spurs making no signings?” asked Wright on BBC Radio 5Live on Monday.
Well, no, Ian. They wouldn’t. But they might ask how on earth Tottenham supposed to find the £400k-a-week Bale would demand in wages— not to mention the small matter of a £75m+ transfer fee.
The obstacles don’t stop there. Ignoring the cost, imagine trying to convince the Welshman to swap the club where he’s won three European cups, a La Liga title, a Copa del Rey, a World Club Cup and two Super Cups— for one that’s lifted a single trophy in nearly 20 years.
Look, I can see the appeal. But for so many reasons it’s a non-starter. Bale enjoyed a stratospheric rise during his five years at Spurs; his final season at White Hart Lane was a collection of the most exciting individual performances I’ve witnessed as a fan. But he operates on another level now, a level which makes him financially unattainable.
Even if we could scrape together the cash and somehow persuade him it was a project worth sticking around for, Bale’s injury record is too extensive to ignore. The Southampton academy graduate has missed a total of 79 games for Los Blancos in his four seasons at the Bernabéu; a total of 17 separate injuries.
Back in 2013, leading Spanish neurosurgeon, Dr. Avelino Parajón, went as far as to say that Madrid had made an ‘error’ in signing Bale, due to his history of chronic back problems.
Would Daniel Levy really gamble so much capital on a physically unstable 28-year-old? As much as the romantic in me would like to see Bale in lilywhite again, it simply isn’t going to happen, nor does it make much practical sense.
He can’t play right-back, either.