Spurs: Ange could bin £25m dud after signing Brennan Johnson
The Lilywhites may finally get rid of an inconsistent £25 million dud after their outstanding Deadine Day acquisition.
Given that it was Ange Postecoglou’s first transfer window, Tottenham Hotspur’s window was of particular significance. It also signaled the beginning of what many believe will be a revolution that will erase the disastrous tenures of Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho, and Nuno Espirito Santo from their recent memory.
A club that was previously in position to enjoy a long-term stay near the top of the Premier League has been hindered by poor recruitment techniques for both players and coaches, but now their new manager has started working on cultivating a new atmosphere, one of positivity and good energy at last.
It’s fair to say that significant progress has already been made in that direction, with the additions of James Maddison, Micky van de Ven, and others all contributing to the slowly regaining positive vibes surrounding the Lilywhites.
Given that Brennan Johnson cost £47.5 million and that Postecoglou was so interested in the former Nottingham Forest flier, many people are inclined to consider it a wise investment.
Many could object to the fee, but should he live up to expectations and strengthen their front line, which is already strong, it won’t take long for that sum to become a coup.
The explosive 22-year-old’s mere presence alone should probably inspire his teammates to step up their respective performances because they know that a bad showing will be seized upon by him.
Dejan Kulusevski, whose performances on the right wing have been underwhelming after just four league games, may be one of these early casualties.
Why did Spurs sign Brennan Johnson?
As said, Johnson’s signing has generated a lot of discussion, with some questioning why such a high price was paid for an unknown talent.
Darren Ambrose, a commentator, expressed optimism despite this when speaking on The Transfer Show on Sky Sports, saying, “He will hate me for saying this. However, I believe Brennan is a greater player than his father, who was a great player. However, his pace is fast. He has to be among the Premier League’s quickest players. He doesn’t replace Harry Kane in a like-for-like manner. We are aware of that.
He like to play wide. However, I believe you may work him into the position of number nine. To suggest that £50 million isn’t a lot of money is trite. It’s not much, though, in the chaotic world of football. This would be a great acquisition for Spurs, in my opinion.
The Wales international is ideally suited to Postecoglou’s system, which requires a lot from the attackers. Those who might laugh at such a move are probably unaware of this.
Even back in February, while discussing how he wants his strikers to earn their opportunities the same way Kyogo Furuhashi did at Celtic, he stated as much: “It’s not only about his goals. Although these are the most crucial item, he works extremely hard. He is one of those people that works hard for his benefits. He isn’t just sitting around waiting for an opportunity. He is exerting himself to the hilt to do things that other strikers won’t do because he understands what is best for the team.
Therefore, it is encouraging to note that Johnson ranks in the top 9% for progressive carries per 90, the top 11% for tackles per 90, and the top 19% for blocks when compared to other forwards in Europe.
That doesn’t even take into account his eight goals and three assists in the league last year, where he was a key member of a team that nearly avoided relegation in his maiden season in the English top division.
It shouldn’t be shocking to hear him praised because journalist Ethan Lamb also mentioned his physical qualities, describing him as a “speed demon” after being recorded as the Premier League’s quickest player last season.
But it only takes Postecoglou’s effusive endorsement to properly explain why Spurs believed he was worth spending so much on: “He’s a big threat in the front third, he’s different from what we’ve already got, he’s young and ambitious. That is undoubtedly my role model.
“It’s about the person just as much as the footballer, and based on the way he looks, he will fit in incredibly well with this bunch. He has a lot of drive and ambition and wants to step up his performance. With his technical and physical skills, he should blend in perfectly.
Such a glowing recommendation summarizes why Kulusevski, a fellow winger, ought to be terrified.
Dejan Kulusevski, how many goals has he scored
The Swedish international’s lackluster start to current season is a major disappointment, as the 23-year-old still appears to be a long way from the form he shown during his first six months at the club.
Kulusevski, who joined on an initial loan from Juventus, led their late push for the coveted fourth-place berth with five goals and eight assists in just 18 Premier League games. The following year, he would only manage two goals in the entire season, earning harsh criticism.
When healthy, he has continued to start games, and the £25 million transfer fee this summer was probably bet on the tricky winger regaining his former form.
Even yet, despite just scoring once in five games across all competitions and an average Sofascore rating of 7.13 in the league, his season has gotten off to an unusual start.
Therefore, it appears that he has not yet forgotten the advice of analyst and former Brighton and Hove Albion forward Glen Murray, who stated on September 20, 2022, on BBC Radio 5 Live Sport (via TEAMtalk):
In some ways, Harry Kane appears to be the only person (in a groove) besides Rickardson. But Kulusevski has been making contradictory statements. He hasn’t yet achieved the heights he did when he first entered the league last season, in my opinion.
Although his form continues to elude him, this confidence in the Swede nonetheless suggests there will be a fierce competition for that right-wing position, giving Postecoglou more attacking options at the very least—not that they required any after their 5-2 thrashing of Burnley the previous weekend.
Johnson is a versatile option as well because he can play up front, but Kulusevski must exercise caution in light of what Tim Spiers, a journalist, recently stated about his preferred position:
Being wide is what Postecoglou wants from his wide forwards, and the fact that Johnson is a right-footed, right-sided player may mean that he is asked to play the role of the player Postecoglou prefers to arrive at the back post from crosses directed from the left flank, something Kulusevski hasn’t shown he is naturally good at since the Swede’s strengths lie more in creativity than goal scoring.
Kulusevski needs to step up his game straight away if he wants to keep their new £47.5 million signing out of the club, but the newcomer also needs to try to make an immediate impact in order to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding that right wing position.