In a summer that was craving a vast rebuild, Ange Postecoglou very nearly completed it with a failed late swoop.
Everyone anticipated that the summer of Tottenham Hotspur would bring about a significant upheaval.
Few would have foreseen, however, that Ange Postecoglou was just one last-minute transfer away from potentially having the perfect window, as they came so close to bringing in a seasoned Premier League player to replace academy graduate Oliver Skipp.
Oliver Skipp: How good is he?
Even though he appears to be disliked by his new boss, Skipp is one of several players who have advanced through the ranks of N17 and onto the first team.
Since the 22-year-old is a slower, more metronomic presence in the middle of the field, he cannot supply the energy that a certain Yves Bissouma can in that position and lacks the offensive zeal to be transferred elsewhere.
Despite this, he has maintained a reliable presence throughout his 86 professional appearances. According to Sofascore, his best season to date was the 2021/22 Premier League season, when he posted an impressive 6.81 average rating supported by a 90% pass accuracy rate and 1.8 tackles per game.
This may have been a good performance for a person his age, but it is obvious that he has not grown since then. In fact, talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook used him as an illustration of the mediocrity the Lilywhites ought to purge: “I think they’ve had so many difficulties, Spurs. Skipp, they probably aren’t good enough to return to the elite level.
Perhaps they should have been more determined to encourage him to make the exit they apparently want earlier in the window, with the money they might have obtained serving as the necessary financial support to encourage a Deadline Day pursuit of Conor Gallagher.
Conor Gallagher was nearly signed by Spurs.
Postecoglou reportedly made a proposal for Gallagher to Chelsea before finalizing a last-minute deal for Brennan Johnson.
The England international would have been an immediate improvement over Skipp in terms of adding more firepower to his engine room because he can also play the deeper, more controlling role in addition to pushing forward and participating in assaults when necessary.
Therefore, the rumored £45 million asking price that the Blues were demanding should have been a no-brainer, especially after their initial verbal offer of £40 million had been rejected.
In the end, it was a failure, and Skipp in north London and the 23-year-old remained residents of Stamford Bridge.
It is nevertheless a discouraging mini-saga that started on Deadline Day and, had it succeeded, would have greatly benefited Spurs. After all, he shone for Crystal Palace when on loan during the 2021/22 season, scoring eight goals and dishing out three assists from midfield in the league.
Then, since moving back to West London, he has gotten off to a flying start this season, according to Sofascore, with a 7.33 average rating, a rating that is supported by his 91% throw accuracy, two interceptions, three tackles, and 7.8 ball recoveries per game.
Conor Gallagher is unquestionably living up to the accolades given to him by Mike Stavrou of The Athletic: “Conor Gallagher was absolutely relentless with his pressing and energy tonight.” Chelsea has a player or two.
Given the effort Postecoglou expects from everyone on his team, Gallagher can do it all, and the active midfielder would have been a great choice to maybe push Skipp toward the exit.