Tottenham Hotspur were one club linked with Frenkie de Jong before his impending £65.3 million (The Guardian) transfer to Barcelona was recently announced.
The Lilywhites were touted as a possible destination for the talented Dutch youngster in the summer of 2017.
They had hoped he might have followed in the footsteps of Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen to north London.
But the move was never to be, with de Jong feeling he owed Ajax another season before jumping ship.
de Jong has been speaking about the situation, and his comments will come as a real sickener for Tottenham fans who longed to see him join their club.
He told FourFourTwo: “The moment wasn’t right. I wasn’t finished at Ajax, as I hadn’t yet played a full season in my own position.
“I was also injured in that period, so I was thinking, ‘Not yet’. I felt I should stay for another year at Ajax, or perhaps longer.
“I considered their [Spurs’] offer long and hard. I see Tottenham as a very stable club, and they are only getting better. They give young players a chance and I see Mauricio Pochettino as a manager who really improves young players. I like the kind of football they are playing. I think it would have suited my game.”
It sounds as though de Jong really did give the move some thought. Clearly he likes what Tottenham are about, but maybe the timing just wasn’t right for the player.
de Jong will be a Barcelona player ahead of the 2019/2020 season and it could be a case of what might have been for Tottenham.
de Jong is a supremely talented midfielder player who genuinely has the potential to become one of the world’s best later in his career.
He has dazzled for the Amsterdam club and will showcase his talent on the much grander platform that is the Nou Camp from the summer of 2019 – and there’s nothing Spurs can now do about it.