When looking back at Tottenham Hotspurs’ recruitment over the past five years, it is clear that Daniel Levy has been wrong more often than he has been right.
Indeed, considering that the likes of Davinson Sanchez, Serge Aurier, Jack Clarke, Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal all arrived in North London over this five-year period – the vast majority of whom are being touted with an exit from the club this summer, if they haven’t left already – it would appear fair to say that the Spurs chairman does not boast a fantastic record in the transfer market.
However, not only has the 60-year-old brought players into the club that have proven to be failures, but he has also not pulled the trigger on certain targets who have gone on to shine after securing a move elsewhere – with the perfect example of this being Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes.
Indeed, Tottenham were heavily linked with a move for the 27-year-old back in the summer of 2019, with the midfielder himself revealing just how close he came to securing a switch to north London – before ultimately going on to join United for an initial £47m the following January.
Speaking about his failed switch to Spurs, the Portugal international said: “I was close to Tottenham. In the summer I was closer to Tottenham than Manchester United.
“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.
“I thought the dream of coming to the Premier League was not happening. At the time, the dream to come to the Premier League, to a club like Tottenham was an amazing proposal.”
Since then, the £100m-rated sensation has established himself as one of Europe’s best attacking midfielders, having scored an astonishing 49 goals and registered 39 assists over his 116 appearances for the Red Devils.
Furthermore, the £100k-per-week man has earned almost unbelievable seasonal SofaScore match ratings of 7.71 and 7.56 in his two completed Premier League campaigns for United, returns which ranked him as the second-best player in the league in 2019/20 and the third-best in 2020/21.
It has been a similar story over the 27-year-old’s 27 league outings this season, with Fernandes having scored nine goals, registered six assists and created 14 big chances for his teammates, metrics which have seen the Portuguese playmaker average a SofaScore match rating of 7.32 – ranking him as the joint 12th-best performer in the top flight.
As such, it is easy to understand why Darren Lewis suggested that Tottenham will “cry every night” about missing out on the signing of Fernandes back in 2019 – as Levy’s decision not to up his offer for the midfielder has arguably been the chairman’s biggest mistake during his spell in charge of the North London side.