Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has been criticised for going with the ‘cheap option’ when signing Clement Lenglet in the summer, instead of going after a much better £50million alternative.
Tottenham signed Lenglet from Barcelona in July to bolster Antonio Conte’s centre-back options. The defender joined Spurs on a season-long loan.
Lenglet made his Spurs debut in the 4-1 Premier League victory over Southampton on the opening day of the season, coming off the bench for the final four minutes.
He has gone on to make 16 appearances in all competitions, registering one goal and two assists. And the Frenchman played a full 90 minutes during the 2-0 loss to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
Emi Buendia and Douglas Luiz scored for Villa to hand Spurs another setback. They have now won just once in their last four league matches, conceding nine goals in that time.
Following the Spurs defeat, Football Insider pundit John Wenham accused Levy of lacking ambition when bringing Lenglet in. Wenham reckons the club chief should have gone after a top-class European defender instead, such as Josko Gvardiol or Alessandro Bastoni.
“Again, I looked at Clement Lenglet yesterday over the course of 90 minutes and I will not be told he is better than Ben Davies,” Wenham said during a recent interview with the online outlet.
“He is exactly the same level and I have been saying this since we first got him. There is absolutely no difference in quality between the two of them.
Spurs urged to ‘get rid of Lenglet’
“With one player on loan and one player not, with one player counting as homegrown and the other not, there is an easy decision to make at the end of the season and that is to get rid of Lenglet.
“It looks like we are paying the price for getting the cheap option and not pushing the boat out to sign a Bastoni or Gvardiol.
“Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool all would have done that if they were in our position. It is so frustrating.
“They would have made things happen. We again went for the cheap option and after a few injuries to the squad we now don’t have the required quality in the squad.”
Spurs could rectify the issue in 2023 after setting their sights on Inter Milan star Bastoni. According to reports, Spurs are plotting a double swoop for both him and Atalanta teenager Giorgio Scalvini. Bastoni would apparently cost in the region of £50m.
Josko Gvardiol deal unlikely
Gvardiol has also been linked with Spurs in recent months. He would be a fantastic capture given how impressive he was for Croatia at the World Cup.
However, Gvardiol is more likely to join Chelsea than Spurs. This is because the Blues can afford to spend more money on him.
Conte might be handed a quality defender in the form of Bastoni this summer. But the failure to sign him earlier could cost Spurs during the current campaign.
After the defeat to Villa, the north London side sit fifth in the Premier League on 30 points. What is worrying for Conte is three of the top four – Arsenal, City and Man Utd – all have a game in hand on Spurs and can get further away from them.
Spurs will also have to fend off the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea if they want to get that final Champions League qualification spot.