This article forms part of our The Ones That Got Away feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern take a look back at players linked with moves in the past, and see how they would have made an impact had they signed for the interested side.
Tottenham Hotspur have a range of centre-backs on offer to Mauricio Pochettino in North London, but for how much longer the Argentine can rely on Toby Alderweireld or Jan Vertonghen remains to be seen, with the Belgian duo out of contract next summer and free to negotiate pre-contract agreements with sides from abroad come the turn of the year.
Spurs could have begun their move away from the experienced men in the window just gone, though, as the Daily Star reported in June that chairman Daniel Levy was offered the chance to sign Denmark underage international Joachim Andersen from Sampdoria, who has since gone on to join Olympique Lyonnais for €30m (£26.7m) including potential add-ons (Get French Football News).
The price paid by the Ligue 1 side, now without a French top-flight crown since 2008, was a marginal markdown on the figure for which Sampdoria were alleged to have asked Tottenham, as it was suggested the Serie A side were chasing £31.2m after Arsenal chose against exploring their earlier interest.
Juventus, Napoli and AC Milan, like Spurs and Arsenal, decided against pursuing the Frederiksberg-born centre-back when offered his services, but may also be left regretting their decision and look at Andersen firmly as one who got away.
Andersen moved to Sampdoria from Ajax in 2017, having spent four years at the Amsterdam outfit after leaving FC Midtjylland’s under-19s for the academy which developed the likes of FC Barcelona’s £65m midfielder Frenkie de Jong (BBC), Juventus’ £67.5m defender Matthijs de Ligt (BBC) and Real Madrid’s summer target Donny van de Beek (Marca), who Ajax valued at €65m (£58m).
Uncapped at senior level, Danish defender Andersen may not have commanded a fee as high as those previously mentioned, but he featured in 34 fixtures for Sampdoria last season (TransferMarkt), keeping 12 clean sheets, to earn the attention of Tottenham (Daily Mail).
The 23-year-old, who failed to leave the bench in his international call-ups to date, also had a 76% tackle success rate in Serie A last term as he won 40 of 52 efforts (WhoScored), along with 35 interceptions, 144 clearances and 33 blocks.
Andersen’s career has remained on the up since switching Italy for France, too, with Lyon enjoying his services in seven Ligue 1 fixtures so far, in which he has recorded 12 blocks, 31 clearances, three interceptions, six successful tackles and 17 successful aerial duels.
Spurs, on the other hand, are once again relying on Vertonghen and Alderweireld to keep opponents at bay in the Premier League, with Alderweireld playing more minutes than any other Tottenham man and Vertonghen included in each of Pochettino’s starting line-ups since matchday four.
Neither have long-term futures at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium without first penning new contracts, and Vertonghen appears the one most willing to stay. However, Spurs only see the 32-year-old as a 12-month solution (Daily Mail), leaving a potential void at least on the right-hand side – coincidentally where Spurs were said to have envisaged Andersen playing.
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Tottenham fans, should Levy have paid the £31.2m Sampdoria were asking to secure Andersen’s services? Let us know in the comments below…
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