Under Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham made a habit of signing an increasing number of young Argentine players. Coaches often like players from their own background, so this should come as no surprise. What does, though, is the sheer number of young stars who arrived who did not work out in the Premier League. Arguably chief among the South American imports that Pochettino picked up was Juan Foyth. The youngster arrived with an impeccable reputation, and quickly looked to be a high value pickup for the club. However, an impressive early start soon gave way to a more muddy medium-term, and the player soon departed for Villarreal.
The Argentine international has now been officially sold off permanently. He enjoyed a strong season with the La Liga team, helping them to qualify for the UEFA Champions League via beating Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League Final. The deal is expected to cost the Yellow Submarine in the region of €15m, giving Spurs a decent return on a player who was unable to live up to lofty expectations at the club.
He spent last year with the club, signing an extension with Spurs until 2023 to help cement and protect his value. He joined Spurs in 2017, arriving from popular Argentine team Estudiantes. It was an impressive signing for Spurs, yet despite an early breakthrough into the first-team things soon slowed down to a crawl in terms of first-team action. Indeed, he made just four appearances in the Premier League under Jose Mourinho.
This led to a loan exit and now the player will not return to Spurs, arranging a long-term deal in Spain that offers a clean break for all players involved at the club. It’s a shame to see a young talent move on, but it makes sense for all parties.
Will Tottenham sign a replacement in the summer?
It is expected that Spurs will instead look to give more game time to the likes of Joe Rodon. The Welshman arrived and played very little regular games, but could arrive back into the first-team after a season of adaptation to the top-flight demands. An interesting player himself, Rodon arguably fits the mould of what Spurs need from a defender better than Foyth did.
However, it is another young South American to arrive at Spurs and fail to progress as expected. Another central defender in Davinson Sanchez has failed to develop despite arriving from a vaunted development spot in Ajax. Could Spurs perhaps need to work out what is going wrong? At present, the only South American in the first team to visibly improve since arriving at the club has been Giovani Lo Celso. If Spurs wish to keep their reputation as a development club open, they might need to find out what is going wrong with many of their exciting imports from around the South American continent.
For now, though, Foyth will no longer be involved at Spurs; the club has managed to get a strong return on a player who, really, has fallen out of the picture entirely.