Tottenham beat PSG last summer for the signature of teenage prodigy Juan Foyth, as manager Mauricio Pochettino proceeded to bolster his defence.
The 6ft 3 defender signed for £8m from Argentinian club Estudiantes; Pochettino was a fan of the player, and this was seen as a major coup for The Lilywhites.
He was a member of the Argentina under-20 squad at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and caught the eye of many suitors, but Tottenham won the race for the man.
However, he failed to make an instant impact and struggled for game time last season. He never featured in the Premier League, and was relied on as a cup player, appearing in the FA Cup, League Cup, and the Champions League.
He joined a squad with a number of high quality players, and his prospects of featuring a lot were always dim. Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen were some of the first names on the team sheet, with new signing Dávinson Sánchez ahead of the Argentinian as well.
Pochettino deployed the formation of playing three centre backs at the start of last season, and has done the same in a number of fixtures this season as well. This was a way of getting three of his best players in Alderweireld, Vertonghen and Sánchez on the field at the same time. If the manager is to opt to use this formation in the future, it bodes very well for 20-year-old Juan Foyth.
Foyth (valued at £4.5m on Transfermarkt.co.uk) will be the next in command after those three men, as, with Cameron-Carter Vickers going out on loan this season, he is the only remaining centre back option after the regular three defenders.
However, Pochettino may be more willing to revert to play with four at the back if an injury occurs this season, rather than needing to rely on the 20-year-old. But the fact that the manager decided to keep Foyth from going on loan suggests how he views him.
Although the Argentinian is carrying an injury at the moment, Pochettino clearly has faith in him, and where he sits in the manager’s plans. Tottenham are a club that will want to be competing on all fronts, meaning the 20-year-old may even feature in the Champions League this season.
After Tottenham failed to add to their squad in the summer, it is the players on the periphery that will become the most important in the coming season, as Pochettino will hope to blood them into the first team. This may be the year for Foyth.
However, whilst 20 is obviously very young, he is only a year younger than Sánchez was when he started playing regularly for The Lilywhites. This shows that if Pochettino deems a player good enough from a young age, he will not hesitate to play them, as he did with Dele Alli as well. There is clearly something that is preventing the manager from giving Foyth regular game time. It could well be his physique at his age does not match Sánchez’s formidable stature, and may need a few more years to mature.
When Foyth has developed as a player, he can clearly expect to feature extensively for Tottenham, and there is the possibility that he could become captain. Pochettino has taken a liking to the player, and the countrymen may build a lasting relationship where the manager trusts the defender most.
Vertonghen is in his thirties, and Alderweireld is perennially embroiled in transfer rumours. No one knows how long the Belgian duo will have at the club, but Pochettino is preparing an heir to their throne.