Last summer Tottenham Hotspur found themselves on the hunt for a new right-back. Spurs needed a replacement for Kyle Walker, who had made the move to Champions in waiting Manchester City. Plenty of names were linked with the job, including German youngster Jeremy Toljan.
One year ago saw Portuguese paper Record suggest Spurs had beaten Benfica to his signature. A week later and Sky Sports reported Spurs were very keen on the Hoffenheim player, valued at around £13 million. Even the player’s agent got in on the act.
“It is always a pleasure to read big clubs like Tottenham are interested in Jeremy.
“Spurs are a fantastic club with an excellent progression in the last years, but we didn’t speak to the responsible persons and, for the moment, everything is a rumour.”
But Tottenham did not sign Toljan. He joined Borussia Dortmund instead. The German powerhouse spent much less to snap up the talented defender. He joined for just £4.5 million and it appeared Spurs had missed out on a bargain.
Tottenham instead snapped up Serge Aurier from PSG, a signing that has largely not worked for the London club.
But did they miss out on Toljan?
Not on the evidence of the last 12 months.
Toljan has struggled to find his feet at Dortmund. The 23-year-old, who faced Spurs in the Champions League last season, found himself in and out of the Dortmund starting line-up last season. Injuries did allow him some time in the first-team and, in total, he ended up playing 27 times for Die Schwarzgelben last term. His best performances, in fact, likely came at left-back rather than his favoured right. But in the end, he did not impress fans and once Dortmund were back to a full complement, Toljan was benched again.
The lowest point of his season came in February. Hauled off at half-time after being roasted by Leipzig winger Bruma for 45 minutes he was given a rating of 2/10 by ESPN.
Toljan still has plenty of promise and a lot to offer to Dortmund going forward. But based on his performances last season, Spurs will be better off backing one of their own in Kyle Walker-Peters.