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London, UK. 2nd Oct, 2023. Conor Gallagher of Chelsea during the Premier League match at Craven Cottage, London.

7 transfer targets Tottenham missed out on in the summer & how they’ve fared this season

Tottenham have enjoyed a superb start to the season under Ange Postecoglou, but we wanted to know what’s become of the players who didn’t end up moving to north London over the summer.

Having sold captain and record goalscorer Harry Kane to Bayern Munich, Spurs reinvested the funds in several players including James Maddison, Micky van de Ven and Guglielmo Vicario.

But what became of the players they missed out on in the summer? We’ve checked in on seven players that they reportedly targeted signing – and assessed how they’ve fared elsewhere.

Conor Gallagher

With the number of players shown the door at Chelsea over the summer, and FFP rules that seemingly incentivised selling academy players, many thought Gallagher’s days at Stamford Bridge were numbered.

Tottenham were one of several clubs interested in signing Gallagher, but a deal never materialised as Mauricio Pochettino was keen to keep the England international in his squad.

The 23-year-old has repaid Pochettino’s faith with a number of accomplished performances in Chelsea’s midfield, shining alongside £100million team-mates Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo.

He only has 18 months left on his current contract with the Blues, but Gallagher expects to sign a new deal and says the added competition has ultimately made him a better player.

“When top players come in your position, you think you have less of a chance of playing as much as I’d like,” he said.

“It makes me even more determined to prove to the manager why you are good enough to be playing as well. I think I have done that this season.

“There is always going to be competition. It’s what comes with being at a top club like Chelsea, one of the best clubs in the world over the last 20, 25 years. So that’s going to happen.

“In a way I was excited. But I needed to make sure I was ready to show the manager I was still good enough to play in this team.”

Lloyd Kelly

Having learnt his trade at Bristol City, Kelly is now established as a fine Premier League defender as he helped Bournemouth avoid relegation last term.

Spurs were heavily interested in signing the 25-year-old, with Eric Dier reportedly offered as a makeweight in any deal, but Bournemouth rejected the approach.

They remain interested in Kelly and may make a January move for the defender, who will enter the last six months of his contract, after an injury to Van de Ven in the defeat to Chelsea.

But Bournemouth are insisting that their captain will not be sold midway through the season despite Liverpool, Newcastle United, AC Milan, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund joining Tottenham in mulling over whether to test their resolve.

Edmond Tapsoba

Tapsoba is one of the most in-demand defenders in European football after his starring role in Bayer Leverkusen’s rise under Xabi Alonso.

When he first moved to the BayArena in 2020, journalist Antonio Mango tweeted that the central defender is a “monster”, who is intelligent, good on the ball, quick and strong.

And he’s only got better since. No wonder Spurs, and half of Europe, remain strongly interested in signing the Burkina Faso international.

Gift Orban

“Why do Ajax and PSV sell players like Antony for 95 million euros and others for easily 40 to 50 million?,” Gent CEO Michael Louwagie said recently, ‘angry’ at suggestions that Tottenham backed out of discussions in August due to the youngster’s £25 million price tag.

“And why should we think that 30 million euros is too much [for Orban].”

Quite. The Nigeria international has scored five hat-tricks in 2023, taking his total for Gent to 31 goals in 41 appearances. It feels inevitable that he’ll end up in England sooner rather than later, with goal-shy Fulham reportedly ready to bid for Orban in January.

Perr Schuurs

As well as Van de Ven, Spurs had eyed another Dutchman to stiffen their backline in the form of Torino defender Schuurs.

The 23-year-old is having a solid campaign at the Serie A club, featuring in ten matches this season and finding the back of the net once in the process across all competitions.

Schuurs has been a dominant presence on the defensive end of the pitch and has done well to average 2.2 tackles, 1.0 interceptions and 2.3 clearances per game in Serie A. We’ll be amazed if Spurs don’t make another move for him in January.

Mehdi Taremi

As Tottenham scrabbled to replace Kane, one surprise name that was mentioned was Porto and Iran forward Taremi. The 31-year-old scored 80 goals over the past three full seasons for the Portuguese giants and Spurs were ready to bid £20million for his services.

Despite possessing Champions League pedigree, Tottenham dropped their interest when Porto demanded an extra £10million. Taremi has scored three goals in 16 appearances this year.

Tosin Adarabioyo

Another defender Spurs targeted in the summer and will aim to sign once more in January, Adarabioyo is one of Fulham’s most highly-regarded players.

Granted, the 26-year-old has only made one appearance this season after suffering a groin injury. But his future at Craven Cottage looks uncertain with his contract expiring in the summer of 2024.

Fulham might be tempted to cash in on him this winter – and Spurs will be right at the front of the queue if they did so.


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