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3 reasons why Tottenham Hotspur should not sign Steven Bergwijn | Premier League 2019-20

Steven Bergwijn could be Tottenham-bound - but do Spurs really need him?
Steven Bergwijn could be Tottenham-bound - but do Spurs really need him?
Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 28 Jan 2020, 03:26 IST
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With just a handful of days remaining in the January transfer window, it looks like things are about to get busy for Tottenham Hotspur. Jose Mourinho’s side are reportedly looking at numerous players to bring in, while the likes of Christian Eriksen, Kyle Walker-Peters and Danny Rose may be departing North London.

One man who is supposedly close to a move to Tottenham is PSV Eindhoven forward Steven Bergwijn, who, according to various sources, was left out of the Dutch side’s squad for their match this past weekend in order to finalise a deal.

But is the 22-year old Dutch international the right man for Spurs in the current window? I’m not so sure. Here are 3 reasons why Tottenham should not sign Steven Bergwijn this month.


#1 They have plenty of cover in his best position already

Spurs already have a pair of classy wide forwards in Son Heung Min and Lucas Moura
Spurs already have a pair of classy wide forwards in Son Heung Min and Lucas Moura

Ask any Tottenham fan about where their side needs reinforcements right now, and you’d probably get the same answers; Jose Mourinho could do with another right-back to compete with Serge Aurier, another left-back to replace the outgoing Danny Rose, and most importantly, another striker to back up – and while he’s injured, replace – Harry Kane.

One area Spurs do have plenty of talent, though, is in the form of wide forwards. Son Heung Min and Lucas Moura are amongst the best in the position in the Premier League – if not the world – and Erik Lamela, Moussa Sissoko, Gedson Fernandes and Giovani Lo Celso can also play in any of the two wide slots as well. Which begs the question; does Mourinho need Bergwijn?

To be fair, if you judge on statistics, perhaps. The Dutch international has numbers that rival both Lucas and Son – in fact, his passing statistics are superior to both and he’s got an impressive 5 goals and 10 assists thus far this season – but it’s also worth noting that his numbers might not turn out to be as strong in the Premier League as they are in the much weaker Eredivisie.

Spurs could bring him in to provide competition for Son and Lucas, but doing that wouldn’t solve the issue they have right now in terms of lacking a central striker. And while Bergwijn has played through the middle before, at 5’10” and with a relatively small frame, he’s no target-man. So why do Spurs need to stock up when they have much weaker areas that need fixing first? 

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#2 They need a striker and money is short

Spurs might be better off using their limited funds on a striker like Krzysztof Piatek
Spurs might be better off using their limited funds on a striker like Krzysztof Piatek

Jose Mourinho has a reputation as a manager who loves to spend a lot of money on new players, but when he joined Tottenham in November, even the Portuguese seemed to realise that funds at his new club would be tight.

Spurs have traditionally never been the biggest spenders in the Premier League, and right now, chairman Daniel Levy seems even more reluctant to splash the cash due to the club’s new stadium still being paid off.

It would make sense, then, that after spending a great deal to bring in Tanguy Ndombele, Jack Clarke, Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso in the summer, there wouldn’t be a lot of funds available this month. And indeed, while Spurs have signed Gedson Fernandes, the move was a loan with an option to buy the player fully from Benfica in 18 months time.

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Reports have also suggested that the club will close a deal to sign Lo Celso permanently this month – paying £27m to keep the Argentine – so how much cash does that leave remaining? In all honesty, probably not a lot. Therefore, it just doesn’t make sense for Mourinho to prioritise the signing of a winger – Bergwijn – for a reported £25.3m when the club is crying out for a striker to replace the injured Harry Kane.

What makes this even more baffling is that striker Krzysztof Piatek of AC Milan was rumoured to be a Spurs target this month, but the potential move fell apart due to Milan wanting a permanent deal at £30m, while Tottenham preferred a loan.

Surely then, it would make more sense for the London side to spend their money on a player in a position they’re short in – Piatek – than a player in a position where they have plenty of cover in Bergwijn.


#3 He may stunt the development of Spurs’ younger talent

The arrival of Bergwijn might limit first team opportunities for Ryan Sessegnon
The arrival of Bergwijn might limit first team opportunities for Ryan Sessegnon

Spurs may have plenty of talent in wide positions currently in their senior squad with the likes of Son Heung Min and Lucas Moura, but they’ve also got a pair of hot prospects for the future in the area as well. Jack Clarke, currently on loan at QPR, was signed from Leeds for a fee of £10m in the summer, while Ryan Sessegnon – who joined from Fulham for a £25m fee – may well have a future as a wide forward too.

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Which begs the question, should Tottenham really look to sign another winger/forward in the form of Steven Bergwijn? It’s very debatable. Bergwijn may well be able to benefit the squad in the here and now, but he’d also add another obstacle in the way of the first team chances of two of the club’s brighter young talents.

Sure, Jose Mourinho might be happy to use Sessegnon as a left-back right now, and with Clarke on loan for the remainder of the season, it could be a case of out of sight, out of mind when it comes to the 19-year old. However, it might not be a good idea to risk pushing either player out given their obvious potential.

Take the case of Marcus Edwards, for instance; the 21-year old was once considered the jewel in the crown of Tottenham’s academy, and was even compared to Lionel Messi by Mauricio Pochettino.

But after a successful loan to Dutch side Excelsior, he felt that any path to Spurs’ first team was largely blocked, and so in the summer, he made a move to Vitoria Guimaraes – where he’s now performing excellently to the point where reports have suggested Tottenham may want him back.

Do Tottenham want another Edwards situation when it comes to Clarke and Sessegnon – both of whom they paid substantial fees for? Probably not, so it might be smart for them not to block a path through to the first team for them – and so they should look to fill other positions rather than signing another wide forward in Bergwijn. 

Published 28 Jan 2020, 03:26 IST
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