Tottenham Hotspur are closing in on the double-signing of Leeds winger Jack Clarke and Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele in a £75m swoop, according to reports in The Express.
Clarke, 18, has been in impressive form for Marcelo Bielsa’s side since rising to first team prominence, scoring two goals and registering two assists in 24 Championship appearances whilst attracting interest from some of the Premier League’s elite.
A move to one of England’s biggest clubs in the top-flight seemed to be something of an inevitability for Clarke, as his dazzling dribbling and incisive runs from Leeds’ right flank continued to increase speculation that the 18-year-old could be departing Elland Road.
For Spurs and Mauricio Pochettino, the acquisition of Clarke is a huge coup and draws comparisons to the £5m signing of Dele Alli from MK Dons in 2015; an English playmaker of unquestionable quality from the EFL who is yet to try their hand in the Premier League, but seemingly has an abundance of ability to do so.
If Clarke can come close to replicating the attacking output of Alli in his time with the Lilywhites, it will be a transfer of considerable success at such a competitive price.
The Englishman has the potential to set the Premier League alight, and at a fee of £10m potentially rising with add-ons, Daniel Levy has potentially secured one of the country’s hottest prospects at an extremely Levy-like price; this could well be one of the most valuable transfers secured by any English club in the 2019 summer window.
Yet when Pochettino spoke candidly regarding his future in North London, the Argentine was not asking the notorious negotiator Levy to buy players with promise and potential in their teenage years – and that is why the impending arrival of combative midfielder Tanguy Ndombele in a £65m move from Lyon comes as no surprise.
Ndombele, 22, arrived at Lyon for just £7m from Amiens but has risen to European prominence following an impressive campaign in Ligue 1. The French international, capped 12 times by his country, scored one goal and registered seven assists in 34 league appearances, as well as playing eight times in the UEFA Champions League, scoring two goals.
The £65m interest from Spurs comes following the departure of Moussa Dembele to the Chinese Super League, as Pochettino goes in search of a player who can add some much-needed steel to the Spurs’ midfield alongside fitting the age bracket which the Argentine has a track record of developing into world-class players.
But after two full transfer windows without a single incoming player alongside sustained domestic and European achievement, it would appear that the Spurs Chairman is all too aware that the time has come to back his manager and invest in Tottenham’s prospects of progression to a new dimension of success.
Clarke and Ndombele are likely to cost Spurs in the region of £75m, but the signal this sends to the club’s fanbase as well as their domestic and European rivals is significant. The North London outfit are set to build on their success from 2018/19 and launch serious efforts to obtain the first silverware of the Pochettino era.
If Levy decides to back Pochettino even further, spending could reach the realms of £200m+, and if the likes of Harry Kane, Heung-min Son, Christian Eriksen and Alli are retained amidst inevitable interest from the market, then 2019 could mark the start of Pochettino’s efforts to take Spurs into a new realm of competitiveness – both domestically in the Premier League and in their bid to go one step further and emerge victorious in 2020’s UEFA Champions League.