Tottenham Ready to Move on from Clinton N’Jie

ENFIELD, ENGLAND - APRIL 06: Erik Lamela and Clinton Njie in action during Tottenham Hotspur training session at Hotspur Way on April 6, 2016 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
ENFIELD, ENGLAND - APRIL 06: Erik Lamela and Clinton Njie in action during Tottenham Hotspur training session at Hotspur Way on April 6, 2016 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images) /

Once a promising young talent, Clinton N’Jie’s time with Tottenham appears to have come to an end as he’s closing in on a loan to join Olympique Marseille.

Even though Clinton N’Jie has openly stated that he is ready for his second season with Tottenham, and that Spurs wanted to keep the Cameroon international while still signing Georges-Kévin N’Koudou, it appears that isn’t the case now after ongoing negotiations with Olympique Marseille.

After days of speculation, whether N’Jie would stay or go, if the Mirror’s report is to be believed, then Mauricio Pochettino has completely given up on the 22-year-old winger after one injury-laden season.

And this makes no sense, no matter how one looks at the situation.

Related Story: Clinton N'Jie Ready for Second Season with Tottenham

Out of action for five months nursing a knee injury, N’Jie was mainly deployed as a substitute in both the Premier and Europa Leagues.

He didn’t get enough time as he was still adjusting to a different league and environment, but the potential was there for him to succeed after his season with Olympique Lyon two years ago.

The Cameroon winger could have been a super-sub that Pochettino’s team has lacked these past two seasons, and with him healthy up to this point, it now seems like — in Tottenham’s eyes — the perfect time to move on from Clinton N’Jie.

If there was a reason as to why N’Jie wasn’t named on the 24-man squad yesterday, then clearly this is the one right here. Today, the 22-year-old had a medical with Marseille in London, that he just passed, so his loan deal will be imminent soon.

As Sky Sports’ Lyall Thomas points out, N’Koudou is still on the table to join Tottenham. The only reason why he hasn’t already is because Marseille needs a replacement for him, and they just so happen to be infatuated with N’Jie.

Now the only thing worse than seeing Clinton N’Jie’s Tottenham career end before it really began (14 appearances is hardly enough to consider a career at this point), both Marseille and Spurs have agreed on an option-to-buy clause worth €7 million (£6 million rounded up).

This clause can be easily triggered if N’Jie meets certain milestones next season. And while it was never mentioned as to what it could be, if anything, it’ll most likely be a certain amount of appearances to ensure a quick sale.

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Essentially, not only has Tottenham given up on N’Jie as a player worthy of sticking around White Hart Lane and fighting for his place, but they’re willing to sell at a massive loss of £6.2 million after spending £12.2 million on the 22-year-old last summer.

The only way Spurs sell players for a loss this big, is if they truly were ready to move on and quite frankly this is probably one such instance. It sends a bad message for everyone on this team who are fringe players or new signings.

Take a look at Nabil Bentaleb, who also suffered injuries a year ago and now he’s close to going on loan with Benfica. Alex Pritchard too, another player who missed time due to injury, now his status with the club is in doubt.

It’s no surprise that these three players when you include Clinton N’Jie — plus Federico Fazio who didn’t get injured but had one disastrous game in the League Cup last term — are sitting on the outside and looking in.

Sometimes a manager has to be ruthless and shape his squad into one of the best to challenge for a top four spot in a competitive league such as the Premiership.

But at the same time, getting rid of three talented players after all of them suffered major injuries that needed surgery, there’s a chance that it could backfire, should they succeed elsewhere.

The only positive that can come out of this loan with Marseille is that N’Jie will get playing time in a familiar league. Of course, getting playing time away with Tottenham isn’t what many wanted to see, because he could have played for Spurs this year.

Next: Report: Tottenham Could Loan Bentaleb to Benfica

It won’t be surprising to see the Cameroon winger succeed with Olympique Marseille, and once that happens, he won’t return to Tottenham, because his loan deal will be bought up permanently.

Perhaps next time, Spurs should seriously consider waiting until the winter transfer window to sell a player who hasn’t turned out the way they wanted to.