Tottenham supporters have been pretty despondent in the Transfer Tavern in the last few hours after seeing their team fail to overcome West Ham in the Premier League on Thursday, with the two sides drawing 1-1 at Wembley.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men went into their clash with the Hammers off the back of consecutive victories over Burnley, Southampton, and Swansea City, but they found life difficult against David Moyes’ men at the national stadium. Pedro Obiang fired the visitors into a 70th minute with a stunning effort from 25 yards out, only for an equally impressive effort from Son Heung-min 14 minutes to later to preserve a point for the North London outfit, reducing the deficit between themselves and fourth place Liverpool to three points.
Subsequently, there have been many downbeat Spurs fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping their team can bring in reinforcements during the January transfer window in a bid to bolster their ranks and improve their fortunes in the second half of the season.
Yet one man who won’t be moving to Tottenham this month is midfielder Ross Barkley, who has officially made the move to Premier League champions Chelsea from Sam Allardyce’s Everton.
And given how much potential the 24-year-old clearly has, and Pochettino’s recent track record with young English talent, failure to land the £22.5 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) represents an opportunity missed by the North London club.
Ultimately, although injuries have plagued the last few years of his career, there’s little denying that Barkley has the talent and indeed the potential to become a quality midfielder – he always wants the ball and is fearless with it at his feet, alongside a willingness to drive at defenders and get into goal-scoring positions.
Unfortunately, English football fans haven’t seen much of that from the 24-year-old in recent times, but under a manager who has nurtured the likes of Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Harry Kane, and Harry Winks into first teamers at Tottenham, Barkley could have been set for big things under Pochettino.
That’s not to say that a move to Chelsea is a bad one for the midfielder, but Spurs must feel frustrated that they weren’t able to lure Barkley to North London, as he would certainly have bolstered their attacking ranks to the point that he could have been a genuine starter, as opposed to someone there purely for squad depth.
Yes, there certainly are areas of Barkley’s game that need improving – decision making in particular – but Pochettino has proven before that he is able to make players better – the aforementioned English quartet have all significantly improved under the Argentine, and look set to hold the key to the future of both their club and the national team.
And that is why this is a missed opportunity for Spurs.
Not only was the reported fee just £15 million, significantly lower than in the summer, but Barkley is a player who, under Pochettino and in a markedly better team than Everton’s around a strong English core, could well have reached his potential, and in turn made Spurs an even better side.
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