Go back to 2016, and Spurs fans will likely remember the summer-long push to land Georginio Wijnaldum. The Dutch midfielder had just been relegated with Newcastle United, but scored a wonderful hat-trick against Spurs on his final NUFC appearance. However, the player eventually chose to link up with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, becoming a key part of the success that the German has enjoyed on Merseyside. Indeed, few players will go down in modern Anfield history quite like Gini; a brace against FC Barcelona to help turn the tide on a 3-0 defeat into a 4-3 win, culminating in a UEFA Champions League win against Spurs themselves in Madrid, has sealed the player in Anfield folklore.
Now, though, it looks like Spurs might land their man – five years on, and what feels like ten managers later. Wijnaldum signed for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer as part of a star-studded collection of high-class free agency signings. However, it looks like things have come to a pretty negative end for the player in France as a lack of playing time and dissatisfaction with life in France meaning he could be available for loan this winter.
Spurs are keen to push on to land the player, with Antonio Conte a fan of his versatility and all-around quality. With his transfer to Paris looking like a bust, it is expected that the player will make his way back to the Premier League where he made his name since arriving from Dutch football via PSV Eindhoven.
The arrival of a player of this standard would certainly help to fill the potential exits of Dele Alli and Giovanni Lo Celso. Neither midfielder has done much this season, and have done next to nothing for Conte since he arrived in North London.
Tanguy Ndombele likely going the other way?
The interesting part of this deal is what Spurs will need to give up if they want to land the player in the first place. it looks like another wantaway midfielder, Tanguy Ndombele, will be going to Paris. A former Lyon player, it will be interesting to see how the player – who, if we are honest, never looked happy to be part of the Spurs project – reacts to going back to the league that made him such an in-demand talent.
For Spurs, at least until the summer, swapping a demotivated Ndombele for a highly motivated Wijnaldum would make a lot of sense. The Dutch midfielder offers the tactical variety and all-around commitment that Conte demands of his midfielders. Meanwhile, Ndombele can go back to France, rebuild his value, and then finally be sold on for good in the summer of 2022.
While Spurs fans might have hoped for more transfers in what was the first window of the Conte era, it looks like the arrival of Wijnaldum might be one of the only marquee arrivals. Given the words coming from Conte in recent days, getting Wijnaldum feels like a priority lest the club want to infuriate the short-fused Italian further.