Tottenham Hotspur have struggled to adequately replace both Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier since their respective 2017 and 2019 departures from north London, with Daniel Levy signing a host of right-backs who have not quite made the grade at Spurs.
Indeed, the likes of Serge Aurier, Juan Foyth, Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal have all been brought into the club in recent years, and, while some have shown flashes of quality in patches, generally speaking, none have been overwhelming successes.
However, after spending £11.7m to bring Foyth to the club back in 2017, with the benefit of hindsight, Levy’s decision to cash in on the full-back for just £13m last summer already appears to have been something of a shocker by the chairman.
Indeed, with Emerson’s idiotic red card in the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal last weekend proving he cannot be trusted at the back, coupled with Doherty and Djed Spence having played a combined total of 22 Premier League minutes so far this season, it is evident that Antonio Conte is currently lacking a right-back in who he fully believes.
And, when considering the astonishing form Foyth has been in for Villarreal since his permanent move to Spain, it very much looks as if the 24-year-old could have been the answer to the Italian’s current right-back predicament.
Indeed, over his 25 LaLiga appearances last season, the £26m-rated full-back was in fantastic defensive form, helping his side keep four clean sheets, as well as making an average of 2.8 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 1.7 clearances and winning 6.2 duels – at a success rate of 62% – per game.
The £79k-per-week defender also impressed going forwards, scoring one goal, registering one assist and creating three big chances for his teammates, in addition to making an average of 0.4 key passes, 1.5 long balls and completing 1.1 dribbles per game.
These returns saw the player who Mauricio Pochettino dubbed “unbelievable” average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.00, ranking him as Unai Emery’s fifth-best performer in the top flight of Spanish football last time out.
So eye-catching was Foyth last season that, in the summer transfer window just gone, Barcelona were said to be considering a €42m (£36.5m) move for the 24-year-old – although no such offer was ultimately made.
Furthermore, the right-back has started the current campaign in similarly fine form, helping his side keep one clean sheet and creating two big chances over his three league fixtures, as well as making an average of 2.0 tackles, one interception, 2.7 clearances and completing 90% of his passes per game – with these metrics seeing him average a SofaScore match rating of 7.03.
As such, when taking into account Foyth’s extremely impressive form in Spain, Tottenham’s current issues at right-back and the fact that the defender now has a release clause of €42m (£36.5m) – a 181% increase on the amount Villarreal paid Spurs for his services – it is clear to see that Levy had something of a shocker when parting with the Argentina international.