Articles from the Athletic and Football.London surfaced about two weeks ago about Tottenham’s intention to sign Dejan Kulusevski permanently, but recent speculation has contradicted those verified reports.
His 18-month loan spell needs to be made permanent if Kulu is to remain at Tottenham for the 2023-24 season. Triggering the permanent move will cost Tottenham £31 million, which, just two weeks ago, was a foregone conclusion.
Recent speculation contradicts those original reports, saying Tottenham may not make the deal permanent, letting Kulu return to Juventus.
However, the latest speculation doesn’t add up.
Kulusevski was one of Tottenham’s best players after joining in January 2022. He scored five goals and added eight helpers in just 18 Premier League appearances.
His offensive contribution per 90 minutes was prolific, even hitting the top 10 assists per 90 minutes. It showed how effective, albeit in a small sample size, Kulusevski can be in the Premier League.
The speculation suggests Kulusevski may have to “win over Postecoglou.” If those first 18 appearances in England weren’t enough to convince the new gaffer of his ability, nothing will be.
Sure, Ange wasn’t the manager when Kulu arrived on the scene, but the video evidence of the Swede’s impressive contributions after arriving from Juventus is compelling.
Postecoglou officially takes charge on July 1, so how can Kulusevski convince the new gaffer of his worth in the two weeks in which a decision needs to be made on whether to make the loan deal permanent?
I highly doubt Postecoglou is basing his decision on Kulu’s performances while on international duty with Sweden.
Kulusevski admittedly endured a comparatively woeful 2022-23 season, scoring two goals and adding seven assists in 30 Premier League appearances. But the Swede was not the only Tottenham player who had a subpar season.
At £31 million, Kulusevski is a bargain.
He also has the skill set to thrive in Postecoglou’s enterprising, relentlessly pressing system. Kulusevski is best suited as one of the two advanced wingers, where he can isolate and expose the opposing fullback.
Though unnatural, he may even be able to adapt and play as a No. 8. Either way, Kulusevski is an integral player in Tottenham’s starting 11.
He is a better option than Richarlison and, at least upon his arrival from Juventus, flourished in combination with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
With an injection of confidence, Kulu can quickly return to the form we saw briefly toward the tail end of the 2021-22 season, so the thought of Tottenham letting him go is illogical as it is infuriating.