Tottenham Hotspur are a team who, following Fabio Paratici’s appointment as the club’s sporting director in July of 2021, have enjoyed a great deal of success in the transfer market – with the Italian’s moves for Cristian Romero, Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur being particularly savvy signings.
However, in the years preceding the 50-year-old’s arrival at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Spurs’ business in the transfer market was much more hit and miss, with Daniel Levy’s additions of the likes of Clinton N’Jie, Vincent Janssen, Serge Aurier and Tanguy Ndombele all proving to flop in north London.
And, perhaps the archetype of these failed signings was the chairman’s £11m move to bring the Olympique de Marseille winger Georges-Kevin N’Koudou to Tottenham back in the summer of 2016, as the then-21-year-old well and truly failed to make any sort of positive impact on Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Indeed, over his three years at Spurs, the Cameroon international would play a total of just 588 minutes of football, scoring one goal and providing two assists along the way, being loaned out to Burnley and AS Monaco before completing a €5m (£4.3m) permanent move to Besiktas JK in the summer of 2019.
Quite remarkably, only four of the £35k-per-week forward’s 27 appearances for Spurs came as starts, something that would appear to indicate that Pochettino saw very little of N’Koudou in training that would suggest he was anywhere near the level of Premier League football.
As a result, the player who Chris Miller dubbed an “awful signing” cost Tottenham a whopping £18.7k-per-minute he was on the pitch, with questions very much being raised as to exactly what Levy saw in the winger to pay £11m for his services, let alone hand the Frenchman a five-year deal in north London.
As such, considering the fact that N’Koudou currently boasts a Transfermarkt valuation of just £3.78m, coupled with Spurs making a 61% loss on the attacker, the argument that Levy’s deal for the 27-year-old was very much a shocker for his side is an easy one to make, leading us to believe that Paratici’s appointment at the club was a very wise move indeed.