I never paid full price for any clothing growing up. I suspect I’m hardly alone in that. Every August, before school started, I would trawl the clearance racks at Macy’s, or grab whatever caught my eye at Marshall’s. The bigger the savings, the bigger the rush. Same went for shoes. When I was 15, I bought a pair of Answer VII’s that were 75% off, and three sizes too big. I’d grow into them, my mom said. Reader, I did not grow into them.
For as long as I’ve been a fan, Tottenham’s transfer strategy has operated like my back-to-school shopping strategy. Spurs don’t have as much to spend as their neighbors, so they’ve had to be smarter, take risks, and buy low. Rafael Van der Vaart was last season’s style, but he’s still perfectly good! MSRP: £15M. Our price: £8M! Man City paid Emmanuel Adebayor to score 17 goals and assist 11 others in 2011/12! Louis Sah–okay never mind on that.
One year, my dad told me I could get whatever shoes I wanted for basketball season. Paralyzed by the newfound abundance of choice, I picked the most expensive, flashiest shoes I could think of: The T-Mac 4s, which, for no reason at all had pieces of literal hardwood included in them. It took five minutes to pull them on before practice every day, they were so heavy and unwieldy. Who cares? They were flashy, they were in demand, and they were mine.
Suddenly flush with cash after an unexpected run to the Champions League final (and, sadly, the impending sale of Christian Eriksen), Spurs have been linked to a number of sensible investments for the future, with Real Betis playmaker Giovani Lo Celso the most persistent and logical of the rumors. Spurs have a number of holes that need to be filled (both fullback positions, central midfield depth, and a long-term replacement for Toby Alderweireld). They’ve also been offered Philippe Coutinho off the clearance rack by Barcelona, 18 months after he was the hottest commodity on the shelves.
Paulo Dybala is Tottenham’s T-Mac 4s. He’s the flashiest player on the market —the next Messi, who broke our hearts with the goal that ended our Champions League dream in 2018.
For so long, we’ve been told we can’t pay for top talent. First, we weren’t in the Champions League. Then, we were saving to build a stadium. Then, we were building the stadium. Fans have waited patiently, pretending to be excited about the potential of the likes of GK Nkoudou as our rivals snapped up all the best attacking talent.
How can we afford him? Who cares. Where is he going to play? Screw you. Are we sure he’s that good? Yeah, the NEXT MESSI *isn’t* that good. Seriously, he scored five goals in Serie A last year. He was playing with Ronaldo, of course he was going to take a back seat! And he won’t do the same with Harry Kane…?
None of that matters. We are Champions League finalist Tottenham Hotspur, and we are signing* the Next Messi. Audere Est Facere.
*probably still not signing