Over the years, Daniel Levy has delivered a mixed bag of results when it comes to transfer dealings. Yes, he’s a tough and exceptional negotiator, but that has backfired more than once.
Indeed, Spurs should be absolutely ruining the decision to not pull the trigger on Bruno Fernandes, who has emerged as one of the Premier League’s best superstars since his move to Manchester United almost a year to the day.
The Portuguese playmaker revealed to the Red Devils’ official club podcast that he was close to signing for the north London outfit, he said:
“I was close to Tottenham. In the summer I was closer to Tottenham than Manchester. Sporting thought at that moment the proposal was not good enough, they thought they deserved more for a player like me. They wanted more money. I was not mad, I was sad.”
Fernandes went onto join Spurs’ top-flight rivals in an initial €55m (£48m) deal, which could eventually rise to €80m (£70m) in add-ons, a not too dissimilar amount paid for Giovani Lo Celso in the very same season (£55m).
Unfortunately for Levy, this is a fatal mistake, and one that has happened before.
The Hotspur faithful will remember the Jack Grealish saga well. In the summer of 2018, Spurs were inches away from securing a move for the impressive Villa star, but Levy’s reported attempts to secure him on the cheap cost them dearly as he remained in the Midlands.
Since then, he’s gotten promoted with the club and finished last season as one of the most creative players in the division – only Kevin De Bruyne (136) created more than Grealish’s 91 chances.
The 25-year-old has continued to deliver in that sense as he ranks first for key passes per game (3.7) in the Premier League, closely followed by Fernandes, who ranks third with three key passes per game, via WhoScored.
He’s played 49 times for United in all competitions since his arrival and has contributed towards a whopping 44 goals, meaning he’s providing 0.9 goals per game for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Those are figures that none of Spurs’ current attacking midfielders can even sniff at – Lo Celso’s managed just 11 goal contributions in 56 appearances, while Tanguy Ndombele’s strike at the weekend took his tally to six goals and seven assists in 53 matches.
And in comparison to Fernandes’ three key passes per game, neither of the Lilywhites duo has averaged above 0.8 key passes per match themselves, per WhoScored.
If Levy wasn’t so stubborn over the cost of bringing Fernandes to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, then Jose Mourinho could have had one hell of a star on his hands.
Instead, the Spurs chairman has let their top-flight rivals run free with it and that has been one catastrophic blunder. According to CIES Football Observatory, his worth is estimated in the region of €200m (£175m) – not bad for an initial £55m.
This is a deal that Spurs could long regret as the evidence above shows he’s been far better than any of Mourinho’s current options and just like Grealish, Fernandes has gone onto make them suffer through his phenomenal displays.
AND in other news, Mourinho would be signing Holtby 2.0 in “magic” Premier League outcast…