Juan Foyth arrived at Tottenham Hotspur with a lot of potential.
After an impressive debut season at senior level for Estudiantes, former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino swooped for the then 19-year-old for just £8m in the summer of 2017.
He was certainly earmarked as one for the future upon arrival, Pochettino told the official website:
“Juan is so young, he’s 19, but he’s started to show his potential. There were a lot of teams interested in him but he wanted to sign for us and that’s fantastic because he’s a big talent with big potential.
“He’s a player for the future who will need to adapt his game now to the Premier League and Tottenham. He’s young and needs to improve and learn. He will be great for us.”
Now, nearly four years later, there is a decision to make on the Argentinian defender – is he good enough to be part of Spurs’ future? You’d have to suggest that he’s not.
Despite Spurs losing veteran defender Jan Vertonghen in the summer, Foyth was still considered surplus to requirements by Jose Mourinho as he shipped him out on loan to Villarreal.
Reports have since emerged suggesting that the La Liga outfit would be keen to keep hold of his services permanently, but may not be able to afford the €15m (£13m) option in the current deal.
Considering Transfermarkt value the 23-year-old centre-back around £9m, the north Londoners – and chairman Daniel Levy, in particular – should take what they can for him.
Spurs’ defensive issues have been well-documented this season. Mourinho cannot decide which is his best partnership between Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld, and all three have been at fault for numerous individual errors at times throughout the current campaign.
And on Sunday, Joe Rodon delivered a major statement to stake a claim at keeping his place in the starting XI. We’ve since gone onto explain the merits of his ability, and how he could be the solution Mourinho desperately needs in this article.
You’ve also got speculation suggesting that the Spurs boss is keen to sign a new centre-back in the transfer window – one that could create a similar impact to that of Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool or Ruben Dias at Man City, according to the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick.
So any way back for Foyth in N17 seems rather unlikely.
Injuries have largely hampered his stint in Spain, having been restricted to only ten league starts and 1,466 minutes in all competitions, via WhoScored.
When you dig deeper, you’ll find that Foyth appears to be undergoing an identity crisis. Villarreal boss Unai Emery has utilised him at centre-back, right-back, defensive and central midfield in his last seven starts alone.
That’s doing Mourinho no favours in his ability to see whether or not he could come straight back into Spurs’ first-team set-up. At this point, he’s probably better off leaving.
If Foyth had anything special about him, then we’d have seen him more than just 32 times in three-and-a-half years. Levy must move him on in the summer, for the good of both the player and the club.
He’d be merely stealing a living sitting on Spurs’ bench or playing for the U23 squad. Just look at Danny Rose.