While the likes of David Beckham and Reece Oxford may be among the more familiar names of former academy players who have left Spurs, one man who has carved out a very successful career himself, but to very little fanfare, is Yuri Berchiche.
In a piece done by Football.London’s Alasdair Gold back in the summer of 2020, he wrote: “The Spaniard Berchiche is technically a product of Real Sociedad’s academy before moving at 16 to Athletic Bilbao. Spurs then snapped him up a year later and brought him into their academy.
“He impressed in the youth sides, but never made the breakthrough into the senior set-up. A loan to Cheltenham Town in League One, where he made just seven appearances, did nothing to convince Harry Redknapp to give him a shot.”
In July 2009, Berchiche returned to his native Spain, and hasn’t looked back since, becoming a regular at the likes of Bilbao and Real Socidedad, and even enjoying a brief stint with French giants PSG.
Indeed, his time with the Parisiens saw him lift the league title, the French Cup, and the French League Cup too, completing a domestic treble during the 2017/2018 campaign.
After leaving Paris, he returned home to Bilbao in 2018, and the now 32-year-old has been a permanent fixture for the Basque side.
The left-back has struggled for fitness this season, restricting him to just ten appearances in all competitions, but he has amassed well over 100 games for the club in total.
His contract at Bilbao contains a massive €100m (£90m) release clause, and while it’s highly unlikely any team would pay anywhere near that kind of figure to sign him now, he has been the kind of steady performer that a team like Spurs would surely have benefitted from over the years.
Given Spurs’ struggles to fill that left-back spot in recent seasons – this campaign has seen Antonio Conte switch between Sergio Reguilon and Ryan Sessegnon – the reliable Berchiche could have been a major help.
Meanwhile, Leeds are eyeing this attacker…