Nuno gives his verdict after Tottenham beaten by Palace
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Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy is seen as one of the shrewdest businessmen in the Premier League. However, a recent revelation could lead some to question whether his reluctance to sign too many players is costing him in the long term.
Over the summer, Levy was the centre of attention due to Manchester City’s interest in Spurs striker Harry Kane.
The Cityzens viewed Kane as their Sergio Aguero replacement but were unable to match Levy’s £160million valuation of the forward.
They offered cut-price fees as well as other players to compensate for their lack of funds, but Levy wouldn’t budge and City have had to start the season with just one recognised striker: Gabriel Jesus.
Opinions were divided on Levy’s stance in the saga, was he holding Kane back? Is there a benefit to keeping a wantaway striker? Why didn’t he cash in on the forward and give manager Nuno Espirito Santo some extra funds? And although the answer to those questions are unknown, the bottom line is that it’s Levy’s way or the highway.
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But despite his hardened stance on keeping players, the chairman has been reluctant previously to bring in some players, and one name, in particular, has proven that this has been a major mistake.
Former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that during his time in north London, he almost signed Achraf Hakimi before he opted to join Borussia Dortmund.
The Moroccan joined the Bundesliga side on a two-year loan before joining Inter Milan, where he excelled and was sold to Paris Saint-Germain, where Pochettino is now.
Speaking to uefa.com ahead of the PSG’s Champions League game against Club Brugge on Wednesday, the Argentine boss said: “Achraf is a young player [I have] been following since [I was] at Tottenham. We were on the edge of signing him for Tottenham, but then he went to play for Dortmund.
“He has a great capacity to run, his physical potential is huge. He is young, he’s maturing at the defensive level, but he makes a lot of contributions in attack.”
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If Spurs were to have signed Hakimi then they would have signed a significant amount of money considering in the past few years they have signed Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal, both right-backs, for a combined fee of £40m.
Though it is too early to judge the latter, Doherty hasn’t been overly impressive since joining from Wolves.
Had Hakimi have gone to north London and spent several seasons in the Premier League, where he most probably would have been ahead of recently-released Serge Aurier in the pecking order, then his value would have grown at a much faster rate than it did during spells in the Bundesliga and Serie A.
It is unknown how much Spurs had offered Real Madrid to sign Hakimi back in 2018 but it would have been considerably less than what PSG had to pay recently, highlighting that Levy may have been too passive or uninspiring in getting his deal over the line.
PSG signed Hakimi for £60m this summer in their only their second paid-for signing, along with Nuno Mendes of Sporting, in a busy transfer window for the club.
The Ligue 1 club brought in Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Georginio Wijnaldum on free transfers as they look to strengthen their squad so it is capable of winning titles.
A front three of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria with six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi playing as a creator behind will cause any defence nightmares, assuming they can keep them all happy.
As it stands, French forward Mbappe is set to leave Les Parc des Princes next year and Real Madrid are in pole position to sign him after their £170m offer for him was rejected in the final week of the transfer window.
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