Tottenham’s summer transfer plans have been devastated by the current health crisis, but it looks as if they could be signing a top Premier League player on a free transfer.
The Mirror have reported that Spurs are a serious contender to sign Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser. With Premier League clubs having seen their transfer budgets slashed, Fraser’s status as a free agent this summer, seems set to make him one of the most wanted players around.
The diminutive winger had a great campaign for the Cherries in the 2018-19 season, scoring eight goals and assisting a further 15. That attracted the attention of the Premier League’s biggest clubs and Fraser was heavily linked with a summer move to Arsenal, which never materialised.
Looking back, Bournemouth must have wished that they had sold him. They have failed to persuade the player to extend his contract and it will now expire this summer, allowing him to leave on a free transfer.
If interested clubs ultimately decided not to meet Bournemouth’s valuation you can be sure that they will have no reservations now that Fraser is available for free, even if he has been less effective this season. Fraser has admitted that his early season form for Bournemouth was not up to the high standards that he had set, having been affected by the disappointment of not getting a major move last summer.
Even the biggest clubs are having to rethink their summer transfer plans in light of the disruption caused to the season by Covid-19. Tottenham have lost more revenue than most, with a number of summer events due to take place at the stadium having been cancelled. Jose Mourinho looks set to have to largely make do with free transfers and swaps, to improve his squad.
It’s no wonder then that Spurs are interested in a player as good as Fraser, when there’s no fee involved. That said, it does feel like a deal that is being done because the opportunity is there, rather than for any pressing need to sign the player.
Fraser can play on both flanks but is best on the left, where Tottenham have a lot of options. Heung-Min Son is one of the top wide forwards in the Premier League, the club signed Steven Bergwijn in January and Ryan Sessegnon last summer.
For Spurs, signing Fraser on a free makes sense, even if they do have something of an embarrassment of riches on the left. They can try to make it work from a tactical perspective, by moving either Fraser or other players centrally or to the right. If it doesn’t work, they have gained a valuable asset for nothing, that they can sell in a year or two.
For Fraser the benefits of the move are less clear. He does not seem guaranteed a starting place in the position where he has built his reputation and Tottenham’s period as Champions League regulars could be coming to an end.
In terms of a top-four finish, Spurs will be seven points behind fourth placed Chelsea once the season resumes. Odds may vary depending which site you pick on Sports Betting Dime, with 12/1 being the average we noticed for Spurs to finish within the top four, when Project Restart begins.
Perhaps some negotiations have already begun and assurances been made, because from an outside perspective there might be more attractive options for a player who should have the pick of clubs. Arsenal and Chelsea offer less competition for a starting role, while Liverpool will guarantee a challenge for honours.
It would be no surprise if Tottenham’s grasp on Fraser is less tight than the speculation suggests. Signing him on a free is a no-brainer, but we have to expect rival clubs to come to the same conclusion.