Tottenham need a goalkeeper more urgently than anyone else. Not that you would know it from their approach towards Brentford and David Raya. Ange Postecoglou needs Spurs to get the deal done…
Of all the clubs that require a goalkeeper this summer – a group that includes half of the Big Six – the most urgent need is Tottenham’s. Despite their attempts at playing it cool.
Manchester United need only a centre-forward more than a new No.1. But they seem quite content to stick with David De Gea on a reduced salary, despite all the evidence that illustrates why that might be a bad idea. Likewise, Chelsea have a Spanish stopper who will do a job if they fail to sign a new keeper. Kepa did pretty well last season, certainly in comparison to his previous effortsTottenham don’t really have a similar fall-back, despite the year that remains on Hugo Lloris’s contract. The skipper has spoken openly about seeking a new challenge and, after 11 years in the Spurs sticks, the time has come for everyone to embrace a change at the start of a new regime at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Ange Postecoglou needs Spurs to get this right. Like many modern-day coaches, the new Tottenham boss relies on his goalkeeper to play high and be brave on the ball. Joe Hart might not have been for Pep Guardiola, but Postecoglou taught an old dog new tricks in the Celtic goal. The ex-England keeper wasn’t supremely comfortable in possession and often looked like he was fighting his natural instincts when defending the space behind a high line, but in the SPL, where few teams are likely to harass Hart on the ball, he did just fine for the Treble-winning Bhoys.
Postecoglou will make the same demands of his goalkeeper at Tottenham, but the Premier League will be a far less forgiving environment for a stopper not suited to serving as a playmaker. Daniel Levy cannot ask Postecoglou simply to make do.
Fortunately, there’s a goalkeeper across London who fits the bill perfectly. And he’s available. He might not be dirt-cheap – but he’s certainly worth it..David Raya is going into the last year of his contract at Brentford and the Spain international, ahead of De Gea and Kepa, has made it clear that he won’t renew. Brentford seem to have accepted Raya’s stance since they have already signed his replacement – Bundesliga Golden Glove winner and Netherlands international Mark Flekken.
All of which seems to have given Spurs the impression that there is a bargain to be had. There is; Raya would be cheap at the price Brentford are asking.“He must be at least £40million-plus. If he had three years (on his contract) it would be £70million.” Thomas Frank was basing the second valuation on the fee that Chelsea paid for Kepa, which was an outrageous outlier rather than the going rate. His first point stands up to scrutiny, though.
But Levy gonna Levy. Brentford are asking a fair price for a Spain international who made more saves than anyone else in the Premier League last season. More than that, he’s perfectly suited to a progressive coach like Postecoglou. Raya is a No.10 in mitts, as Jurgen Klopp has already testified.If Spurs don’t want to pay the full asking price, that’s fair enough. But don’t take the p*ss.
Tottenham and Man Utd – the Man Utd ready to pay £50million for Mason Mount a year out from free-agency – both apparently concur that Raya is not worth what Brentford are demanding. Indeed, Spurs reckon half that amount would be a fair price.
Such stubbornness might make sense if Tottenham were in a position to wait a year for Raya to go free. But they are not. Lloris is set to go, Fraser Forster is a back-up at best and even then he’s far less suited to Postecoglou’s style. Spurs need a goalkeeper this summer and, right now while United faff and Chelsea flirt with the pricier Andre Onana, they have a free run at one of the best in the Premier League.
This would be the worst possible time for Levy to rediscover his thriftiness. He’s just paid the same amount as Brentford’s asking price for another wing-back brought to the club three managers ago. Spending money hasn’t precipitated Spurs’ problems; suspect scouting and decision-making has done that.Raya is a proven entity: in these circumstances, as close to a sure thing as Spurs might find. Low-balling the Bees is a sure-fire way to get stung and prompt a mad dash later in the window for a more expensive, less suitable alternative.
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