Tottenham Hotspur are set to complete a deal for Ashley Phillips…
That’s according to the Daily Mail, who claim that sporting director Fabio Paratici is in attendance for Blackburn Rovers‘ clash with Reading in the Championship after the 17-year-old centre-back broke into the first-team squad.
It remains to be seen if there will be any fee involved and for how much. The Lilywhites have already surpassed the £100m mark, having signed seven new players this transfer window.
This move would be another sign of Paratici planning well ahead for the future.
Last summer, he brought in Bryan Gil and Pape Matar Sarr and now it appears as if the Rovers teenager could join the likes of Djed Spence, also signed from the Championship, and Destiny Udogie.
In fact, in Phillips and the Udinese wing-back, Spurs could have two key pieces of their future tied up.
After being named on the bench against Swansea a few weeks ago, the 17-year-old excelled in Blackburn’s 4-0 over Hartlepool in the Carabao Cup last week and on Monday night, he started a crucial encounter against promotion favourites West Bromwich Albion, lasting 71 minutes alongside the experienced Daniel Ayala.
As per SofaScore, the youngster won 66.6% of his ground and aerial duels, registered seven clearances and made 20 accurate passes, which is pretty good going on your Championship debut.
It could now be his place to lose under their new manager Jon Dahl Tomasson.
“He’s 6ft 4′, he’s fast, mobile and can pass it really well. He can use both feet, he’s composed. Ash is just a phenomenal young boy; if you were to create a defender in the mould of how you would want one, this kid has got every attribute,” claimed his former boss, Tony Mowbray, to LancsLive.
“He’s an exciting prospect, is all I’d say. But it’s in a position where there is a lot of responsibility, it’s not as easy to put a really talented young defender in as opposed to a talented young striker where it doesn’t matter if he loses the ball every now and then.”
At 17, he’s by no means going to challenge an Eric Dier or Cristian Romero to a starting spot under Antonio Conte but in the next four or five years, he could easily be the main man in defence.
The same goes for Udogie, who isn’t going to surpass Ivan Perisic or Ryan Sessegnon anytime soon but later down the line, that position is surely his.
With the pair likely to be the latest two signings at Hotspur Way, the intent to build for the long-term future of Tottenham is certainly there and it’s encouraging to see.
Paratici can get a first-hand glimpse of the youngster tonight before surely giving the green light to the deal.