The agent of Destiny Udogie has revealed how Tottenham Hotspur beat Juventus and Inter Milan to the wing-back’s signature this summer.
Tottenham completed the signing of Udogie from Udinese in August. They have allowed him to stay with the Serie A side on loan for the current season. With a contract until 2027, though, there will be high hopes for him in the future.
The left sider has already done well since his return to Udinese; he has scored twice from his first five Serie A appearances in 2022-23. It looks like Tottenham will have an exciting player to work with from next season onwards.
Their gain will be the loss of Italian football. Not only will Udinese be deprived of Destiny, but some of the bigger Serie A clubs who wanted to sign him have also missed out.
Indeed, his representative Stefano Antonelli has now confirmed Inter and Juventus were also looking at the 19-year-old before Tottenham won the race.
Antonelli told Tuttomercatoweb: “That Inter were on the player is true. But it was an operation with economic connotations Inter could not support. It was not a viable trail.
“Although [Inter sporting director Piero] Ausilio created the conditions for the possibility to occur, as did Juventus. Tottenham have paid €20million plus another €6million in bonuses.”
Therefore, Tottenham’s total investment could come to around £22.5million. It is a significant sum for someone with no Premier League experience. But if he can translate his talents from Serie A, it might just pay off.
For now, Udogie must focus on continuing to perform well with Udinese until the end of the season. He should also continue to have commitments with the Italy under-21 national team.
Outlining what the net few months hold for Udogie, Antonelli added: “He has to keep doing what he knows how to do.
“On November 28th, he will turn 20. He must continue his growth path as he is doing. The aim of staying another year in Italy weighed more than Tottenham.”
Destiny Udogie could have big Tottenham future
While Destiny Udogie is developing elsewhere, Antonio Conte can call upon Ryan Sessegnon, Ivan Perisic, or possibly Ben Davies in the left wing-back position.
Depending on how Sessegnon himself develops, there could be a role for Udogie when he eventually returns to the fold. But Tottenham are managing his development carefully and patiently.
The fact that clubs like Inter and Juventus also wanted Udogie is a positive sign that they have identified a good talent to invest in. Both of his Italian suitors could also have offered him Champions League football.
It goes to show that the Verona-born prospect is well thought of in his native country. Perhaps next year, he will get to broaden his horizons by making an impact in England.
That said, the likes of Pape Matar Sarr and Bryan Gil have struggled to cement their places since returning from loan spells. In their cases, it is taking longer to earn a place in Conte’s plans.
But, if the coach is in it for the long term (his contract is up at the end of the season, after all), perhaps any inside knowledge of Udogie from his Italian connections could help him make an impression.