Everyone is advised to take a deep breath and grab a strong whiskey (if you’re old enough), so we can together take stock of exactly what transpired in Tottenham’s transfer window.
In typical Tottenham fashion, almost nothing got done in the first 27 days of the window. Which left about four days of high-octane, pulsating, anxiety-laden, frustrating, maddening, relieving, intense, frenetic activity.
I’m sure Fabio Paratici and company weren’t, as it ostensibly seemed, sipping red wine, sitting idly by while the first four weeks of the transfer window evaporated before their very eyes.
There is never-ending work to be accomplished behind the scenes. But to the layman, it definitely seemed like the Italian director of football and his cohort procrastinated like a teenager who doesn’t lift a finger until the night before a major assignment is due.
But like any expert procrastinator, Fabio pulled out all the last-minute stops to make sure Tottenham didn’t leave this window empty handed. That dreaded result was unthinkable and might have incited a riot in north London.
Here’s Tottenham’s report card from the quiet-turned-eventful transfer period that culminated at 11 pm last night.
Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus — loan plus purchase option)
Dejan Kulusevski, the 21-year-old Swede, is now a Tottenham player. And if he meets performance-based stipulations built into his loan deal, a permanent move will be triggered.
There’s a lot of back and forth about Dejan, who kicked off his Serie A career at Parma, followed by Atalanta, in style, like a precocious mafia boss.
First with Parma and Atalanta: He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in 39 matches on loan at Parma, an excellent return for the then-19-year-old. He left his teenage years in style, adding 17 goals and 26 assists with Atalanta in 55 matches before being poached by, you guessed it, Fabio.
Paratici brought the Swede to Juventus where, in his first season, he scored seven goals, added seven assists in 47 appearances.
This season has seen Kulu struggle more than any other season in Italy. He’s made 20 appearances, most of which off the bench, has scored one goal to go along with three helpers.
He’s been compared by some as the young Mo Salah, which seems like an odd and slightly unfair comparison. Andrea Pirlo and Cristiano Ronaldo had high praises for him, particularly Ronaldo before he recently landed in Manchester. Some impressive names have vouched for Kulu, which bodes well for Spurs as the Swede embarks on his new journey.
On the other side of the fence, some worry Kulu’s career has already regressed. They believe he peaked too soon and will unravel the same way Dele Alli did in recent seasons. If he finds a way to adapt well to the Premier League, he’ll make an exceptional addition to Tottenham’s lineup. He’s only 21 years old and has the ability and potential to excel. Now we just need to see him embrace his new, exciting challenge and show the Premier League what he’s capable of.
He is also versatile, adaptable and can play anywhere in the attacking third, literally. That’s a huge advantage that can only benefit Spurs.
Kulusevski loan/signing — B
A somewhat surprise signing, Rodrigo Bentancur also joins from Juventus. He has been brought in to solidify and reinforce the middle of the park. Bentancur is by no means the creative maestro Tottenham requires. He will not pull the strings and effortlessly ping incisive through balls to his further advanced colleagues. Cartilage Free Captain scribed an excellent piece about what Bentancur will bring to Tottenham.
What he will offer is stability, assuredness, reliability, a tireless work rate and a dogged determination resembling the likes of Pierre Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp. He will fortify the midfield and offer Tottenham the ability to rotate more the most physically demanding position on the pitch.
It’s a permanent signing that will cost Tottenham just €19 million plus €6 million in add ons. It’s a good price for a player who regularly patrolled Juventus’ midfield.