A year ago today it was being heavily reported that Tottenham Hotspur were readying their transfer move for Ross Barkley. The Telegraph were one of many sources reporting that Spurs were ready to bid £20 million for the Everton midfielder, who was set to enter the final six months of his Goodison Park contract in 2018.
Spurs did not get their man. Instead, Chelsea snapped him up for just £15 million and Tottenham were left empty-handed once again.
For the first six months of his time at Chelsea, Spurs fans were rightly relieved. Barkley struggled to recover from his hamstring injury and was poor when given a chance under Antonio Conte.
However, 12 months since Spurs were being linked with Barkley, they could do with him now.
Tottenham look slightly battle-worn in midfield. Injuries have claimed World Cup performers Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, and Mousa Dembele. Meanwhile, Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama have looked off the pace.
At the same time, Barkley has looked resurgent. The 24-year-old has been a regular for Chelsea under new manager Maurizio Sarri, keeping the likes of England international Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Cesc Fabregas at bay.
Such form has seen talk of an England recall for the player. Tottenham could no doubt have done with Barkley at present and it is again a sign of the club’s inability to make big moves in the transfer market.
Until Tottenham start winning some of these transfer battles, they can only go backward.