Few Tottenham fans may have been aware of Barcelona starlet Riqui Puig a little over 24 hours ago, but now he is the name on many Spurs fans’ lips.
Spanish newspaper SPORT say that the London club are in pole position to seal a deal for the teenager when his contract expires this summer, with Mauricio Pochettino among his chief admirers at the club.
An attacking minded playmaker in central midfield, Puig has been compared to Andres Iniesta and Philippe Coutinho for his ability to transition play from defence to attack.
As soon as news of Tottenham’s reported interest broke, fans took to Twitter to express their lack of knowledge of his skills or, alternatively, show off what they did know.
Perhaps unsurprisingly as one of La Masia’s top talents, Barcelona fans also reacted to the news with outrage and fury at what they perceived to be mismanagement of one of the brightest talents to come through the ranks at Camp Nou in a decade.
He may be young and lack the huge transfer fee of other players being linked with the Lilywhites this summer, but Puig has certainly got Tottenham fans excited.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the news:
The highlights reel was already making an appearance…
Ricard 'Riqui' Puig
Yup, that's certainly a La Masia midfielder…pic.twitter.com/OOuWeZdCSa
— Nathan A Clark (@NathanAClark) May 18, 2018
Yet some had other concerns…
how do you pronounce Riqui Puig in english ?
— TAS??? (@coys100) May 18, 2018
And some confessed that they didn’t have a clue…
I’m a huge fan of Riqui Puig, been following his career since Spurs were linked about 5 minutes ago and can 100% verify that he’ll definitely be the next big thing
— Ben (@thfcBG) May 18, 2018
Whilst others pretended they did…
Riqui Puig WHAT A PLAYER. Been following him since he was 8 years old and i'm absolutely delighted we're being linked with him. He's the new Andrés Iniesta, the boy has insane technical ability pic.twitter.com/55d912W6gp
— ?? (@Aurier24i) May 18, 2018
And experts had their say…
As for what he's like, on the admittedly limited times I've watched him, there's an air of Iniesta about him. Physically he's a little weak – remember the kid is still only 18 – but is (naturally) fantastic on the ball, dictates the tempo and can link midfield to attack.
— Andrew Gaffney (@GaffneyVLC) May 18, 2018
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) May 18, 2018
And Barcelona fans certainly weren’t happy…
Barcelona fans are actually stressing over the prospect of Riqui Puig joining us, he must be talented…
— LP ?? (@Verttonghen) May 18, 2018
Riqui Puig is very close to join Tottenham Hotspur. That's honestly quite an achievement for this board. We know how incompetent the board is and things could've much worse like him joining Real Madrid. We seriously are about to offload our wisest decision maker in La Masia.
— ? (@BusquetsLegacy) May 18, 2018
My heart can't take this anymore.
Mboula and Gomez were very special wingers.
Navarro was nicknamed ' Spanish Ronaldinho' due to his creative playmaking.
Pablo Moreno is La Masia's all time top scorer.
Riqui Puig is without a single doubt the best and most mature in La Masia.
— S????'s R??s ?? (@Robertonical) May 18, 2018
Tottenham Hotspur should have swooped for Luciano Vietto this summer
Luciano Vietto could have been a solid back-up to Harry Kane this season.
Fulham pulled off something of a coup on transfer deadline day. The Cottagers snapped up Argentine talent Luciano Vietto on loan from Atletico Madrid for the season. It was a great piece of business from the club, considering the talent the 24-year-old striker possesses.
But one other London club should have been in for the player. Tottenham Hotspur needed striking reinforcements this summer. With Fernando Llorente and Vincent Janssen both unable to provide adequate cover for Harry Kane, it is an area Tottenham struggle.
A move for Anthony Martial was mooted early on, but nothing ever came to pass.
Vietto could have been a perfect option. With only Llorente for competition, he could have easily become the main back-up to Kane. Mauricio Pochettino is on good terms with his former international team-mate and Atletico manager Diego Simeone, so convincing them of a deal would not have been hard.
Vietto could have arrived on a loan-to-buy scheme, giving Tottenham the chance to sign him next summer should he be a hit.
Whilst many will question whether Vietto would have been good enough for Spurs, his past form indicates he could have done a job. His tally of five goals for Valencia last season is nothing to celebrate. However, his 10 as the back-up at Sevilla the season before and his incredible 2015-16 with former club Villarreal show he just needs a chance to shine.
Fulham may now give him that and, Vietto will hope to prove his worth. Tottenham, however, should have been in the race. If he goes on to thrive in West London, some fans will rightly ask why Spurs did not make a move.
Tottenham Hotspur round-up: Janssen number stripped, Rose can go and Eriksen interest
A selection of the latest news and gossip from Tottenham Hotspur.
Shirt off his back
Vincent Janssen has had his shirt number stripped. The club announced their new squad numbers for the season this afternoon and the Dutch striker is without a number.
He had previously held the number nine shirt, following a move from AZ Alkmaar in the summer of 2016.
However, the number is now vacant as it appears Tottenham try to shift him before the end of the month.
Janssen failed to adapt to Premier League football and spent last season on loan at Fenerbahce.
Rose allowed to leave
Tottenham are happy to let Danny Rose leave the club before the end of the month. According to The Mirror, Spurs are ready to let Rose leave despite the transfer window being shut.
The England international has fallen out-of-favour with manager Mauricio Pochettino, who is now happy to let him go.
PSG and Schalke have both shown an interest in the player. Both club’s transfer windows remain open.
Tottenham feel they have adequate cover with youngster Kyle Walker-Peters and centre-back Jan Vertonghen able to play in his position.
There is more interest in Christian Eriksen being reported this week. Real Madrid’s interest was already known. However, PSG are also said to be keen on the Danish midfielder.
According to the Daily Star, the French side are preparing a £100 million move for the playmaker before the end of the month.
Tottenham fans should however not be fearful. The club have ruled out any potential exit for Eriksen this summer.
Ben Davies form could surely see Tottenham perform Danny Rose exit U-turn
The Welsh left-back has not been in great form recently for Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham Hotspur looked certain to lose Danny Rose this summer. The England international’s position at the club has become troublesome of late, after his criticism of the club last summer. However, since then, injuries have put Rose back and in his absence, a former scapegoat found his feet.
Welshman Ben Davies was often pilloried by the Tottenham public for some bad form prior to Rose’s injury. But last season Davies was in sensational form. A threat going forward as well as defensively, his tireless work-rate and professionalism left Rose chasing shadows once fit.
Rose was recently linked with Schalke 04 and PSG, as reported by The Sun, as Davies continues as number one choice.
However, Tottenham must be starting to consider giving Rose another go.
Davies has struggled for form recently. Pre-season did not go his way and a performance against Girona was particularly bad.
Against Newcastle United, at the weekend he again did not look at his best and some Tottenham fans are now calling for Rose to be reinstated.
Whilst Davies does deserve a chance to continue in the starting XI his form must be a concern for Mauricio Pochettino.
With Tottenham set for yet another busy season, rotation could become key. So allowing rose to go, with the first-choice looking ropey, would seem a big mistake from Tottenham.
It could be Rose still has a Tottenham future for now.
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