Tottenham Hotspur have been heading in a new direction since this summer’s major overhaul both on and off the pitch.
Although they may well not see the fruits of their labour in the near future as a lot of their moves have been with the long-term in mind.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy appointed a sporting director for the first time in over six years, hiring the trophy-laden Fabio Paratici from Juventus, who then opted for Nuno Santo as the club’s next manager.
And his work in the transfer market has been pretty impressive thus far, especially considering it has been his first and only opportunity to do business.
The Italian supremo has managed to offload some of the deadwood that had been holding the Lilywhites back, seeing players like Erik Lamela, Moussa Sissoko and Serge Aurier finally move on.
In the opposite direction, the vast majority of Spurs’ signings have been 23 years old or under, particularly the additions of Bryan Gil and Pape Matar Sarr.
The latter is a perfect case in point on why we will not see the rewards anytime soon as he’s currently on loan to Metz, where he signed from in a £14.6m deal this summer.
Aged just 19, the young midfielder is a hugely talented prospect that has been tipped for big things and for the time being, he’s getting valuable minutes at a top European league.
By the end of the season, you’d hope that he could come straight into Nuno’s squad and perhaps take the place of some of the remaining deadwood, such as Harry Winks, who Spurs were reportedly keen to offload before deadline day.
The Senegalese teenager, who came through the same system as Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, has been likened to two elite stars, both past and present.
Metz director Olivier Perrin once compared him to former Juventus and Barcelona maestro Miralem Pjanic.
“I immediately knew that Sarr was going to be a top player, with a very high level when it comes to reading and analysing the game. He is like Miralem Pjanic,” he told Senego.
Whilst his free-kick ability has earned him the nickname ‘Carlos’ after Brazilian great Roberto Carlos.
He has also been likened to Manchester United’s Paul Pogba by transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
“I am told this guy is really more than an interesting talent. He has real potential, [he’s a] fantastic talent,” he told his YouTube channel. “One of my sources told me he could become one style of [Paul] Pogba player. He has style, he has potential, he has skills, so we will see what happens with this guy.”
Sarr is known for his aggressive ball-playing technique and is capable of picking up possession in his own half and driving forward to help contribute further up the pitch, perhaps something that is severely lacking in the current Spurs squad.
Across the last two seasons, the young £9m-rated dynamo has averaged 1.9 dribbles and 1.1 key passes every 90 minutes, via WhoScored, which would certainly reinforce the reputation he’s received during his time in France.
Someone like Winks must be very careful this season because if Sarr continues to impress at Metz, he could well walk straight into Nuno’s squad come next summer.