Aston Villa’s poor financial situation has been well-documented and the Mirror report that they will demand £40m from Tottenham for their star man Jack Grealish this summer.
Squad depth has been a prolonged issue for Mauricio Pochettino during his time in North London and notoriously tough negotiator Daniel Levy has clearly spied an opportunity to engineer a cheap deal with Tony Xia desperately battling to balance the books at Villa Park.
Nevertheless, there is generally a disconnect between what makes sense from a financial point of view and what a football manager is after in order to bolster his team so it is worth looking at the potential consequences of any deal to take the promising English playmaker to Spurs.
That’s exactly what we’ve done; examined the deal from all angles to look at the practical considerations for Pochettino and Tottenham if Grealish does pitch up this summer…
Grealish’s improvement this season has been in part brought about by an adjustment in his position as Steve Bruce settled on a 4-3-3 at Villa Park.
He has moved to a deeper role, playing in a similar style to Kevin de Bruyne at Manchester City, as a playmaker with licence to drive from midfield.
Therefore, while Grealish could operate in one of the three advanced roles behind Harry Kane in Pochettino’s 4-2-3-1, he would also give the Argentine the option to go to 4-3-3, potentially with himself and Dele Alli bursting forward from that deeper area.
There were many outstanding performers for Villa last season as Bruce moulded them into an effective side but Grealish was the man who sprinkled the stardust on.
Lewis Grabban and Robert Snodgrass were loanees who have now returned to their Premier League clubs, while John Terry has departed.
With precious little funds available, the apple of the Holte End’s eye departing his boyhood club could well spell the end of Villa’s promotion hopes before the 2018/19 has even started.
After Antoine Griezmann committed his future to Atletico Madrid, the Daily Mail reported that Barcelona have turned their attention to Spurs playmaker Eriksen as a transfer target this summer.
As much as Tottenham are ambitious, Levy may well be tempted to cash in on the Dane if he can engineer a cut-price deal for a young Englishman to replace his creativity.
Yet, as we touched on above, Grealish is a slightly different type of creator to Eriksen, although the former Ajax man has the hallmarks of a player who may move slightly deeper to add more guile to Spurs build-up.