Amidst a flurry of deadline day rumors, Tottenham finally announced the signing of French winger Georges-Kévin Nkoudou on Wednesday.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy loves a transfer day signing, though it’s unlikely that any of this was by design. Wednesday’s announcement comes weeks after the first reports of a deal between Tottenham and Olympique de Marseille surfaced for the player. Shifting poles at the Ligue 1 club and rumored disagreements over fees meant that the transfer was delayed right up until nearly the final minute.
What’s past is past though. Nkoudou is a Tottenham player, and even if the drama surrounding the transfer inflates the players’ impact a bit there’s still plenty of reason for fans to get excited.
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Nkoudou only just joined Marseille last summer from FC Nantes for barely £1 million. The reported £13 million Tottenham parted with therefore represents a fairly health profit for OM.
Compared to other deals going down on Wednesday, that £13 million is set to look like an absolute steal however. As would be expected of a deal endorsed by Mauricio Pochettino, Nkoudou is promising and still young enough to adapt to Tottenham’s system. While he’s not set to start right off the bat, if he can turn in as good or better performances as he did for Marseille last term there’s reason to think he might challenge Christian Eriksen on the left side of the attack.
The 21-year-old wasn’t prolific from Marseille’s left wing, but given his age his numbers were encouraging. In 35 appearances in Ligue 1 and the Europa League last season, Nkoudou scored nine goals and set up five assists. It’s worth noting that he accomplished this in a Marseille team that was very much in transition, and thus his ceiling only grows higher at a more settled team like Spurs.
As part of the deal for Nkoudou, Tottenham sent Clinton Njie on loan in the opposite direction. The Cameroonian international arrived in north London last summer for a fee of £8 million, though he never found his footing at the club. Injury didn’t help matters, but his meager tally of 13 appearances — only two of which were starts, both in the Europa League — did not bode well for Njie’s role in the side.
A loan is a loan, though, and if he can prove himself at Marseille perhaps he comes back to Tottenham ready to make a belated impact.
In the time being, Nkoudou will have every chance to solidify himself in Pochettino’s plans. With Champions League and domestic cup play coming up over the next month, Tottenham fans will have a look at their new youngster soon enough.