Tottenham Hotspur‘s intriguing decision to sell Juan Foyth last summer may have already come back to haunt them.
Following a lack of game time under former managers Mauricio Pochettino and then Jose Mourinho, chairman Daniel Levy sanctioned the 24-year-old’s departure, initially on loan for the 2020/21 season.
During his time in N17, he was even deemed to be a “fantastic talent” by former head of GOAL, James Dickens.
He moved to LaLiga outfit Villarreal and quickly became one of Unai Emery’s first-choice starters, helping the side to the Europa League trophy after defeating Manchester United in the final.
As a result of his fine form, the Yellow Submarines triggered a clause option in the deal, which looks to have been quite the bargain at just £13m.
Granted, Foyth looked to have no future in north London, so that price tag – prior to the loan – appeared to be fair game but after a campaign that saw him rank as one of Emery’s top-five performers, that looked to have been rather low.
The Argentine is now courting interest from LaLiga giants FC Barcelona, so that fee seems to be on the cheap side as the Catalan side will have to pay around £35m to bring him to the Nou Camp, as per Spanish outlet AS.
It was Foyth’s form last campaign that has alerted the Blaugrana to his quality.
Largely featuring at right-back, the former Spurs man ended the 2021/22 campaign as Villarreal’s fourth-best performer in the Spanish top-flight, having averaged a squad-leading 2.8 tackles per game (some way off the next best of 1.5 per game by another ex-Lilywhites player, Etienne Capoue).
He also got forward, managing 1.1 dribbles per game which led to him providing two goal contributions across 25 appearances.
If Foyth goes on to complete a £35m switch to Barcelona, then it will only highlight the huge mistake that Levy made in his negotiations with the Yellow Submarines.
Sporting director Fabio Paratici was not at the club at the time and it seems unlikely that he would have sanctioned such a cheap exit for a player that is still only 24 and can play in multiple defensive positions.
Villarreal are set to claim around £22m in profit should Barca pay Foyth’s release clause and that, on the above evidence, will surely leave those at Hotspur Way disappointed with regret.
AND in other news, Conte “wants” £50m “lethal playmaker”, he’s a true heir to £150k-p/w “wizard”…