Juan Foyth has swapped the Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur for La Liga’s Villarreal. The Argentinian moves on loan to Spain, with his temporary employers having the option to make the deal permanent for €15m if he impresses as expected. It is a reasonable price for a player who still has the potential to become a leading defender in the future.
Foyth, 22, left Argentinian outfit Estudiantes, where he came through the youth system, to join Spurs in 2017. It was Mauricio Pochettino who identified his fellow countryman, and the former Espanyol central defender had high hopes for Foyth in terms of his future development in the Premier League at Spurs.
Despite believing Foyth could go on to be a key player for Spurs, as well as Argentina, Pochettino did not make him a regular part of his defence. And, when Spurs swapped Pochettino with Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho, the writing was on the wall. He was left out of the squad in the main when fit and available, with youngster Japhet Tanganga getting the nod over him.
This was noted by pundits and bookmakers alike who then quickly changed their outlook on the player. This is an aspect of football today that everyone is becoming more aware of, in terms of the subtle changes in squad choices. Successful bookmakers and even new entrants in the online betting world such as the expected launch of the Party Casino sports betting site need to be alert to these actions to ensure their transfer betting markets are competitive.
Foyth undoubtedly has the potential and talent to succeed. One of the reasons he has not been able to crack the Premier League and make the grade at Spurs is due to his physical profile. Mourinho is renowned for liking his defenders to be big, strong, tough and aggressive, and Foyth’s attribues do not fit in many respects. The Premier League, as a division, requires defenders to be physically imposing as well, so it was not necessarily a match made in heaven.
A move to La Liga is just what the doctor ordered, as Foyth’s profile and his style of play suit the football in the division more. The Argentinian, who also has a Spanish passport, is solid in the tackle and comfortable on the ball when it comes to making short passes or dribbling. So, he will be right at home when starring for Villareal. He can play at right-back too, as well as at center half, which is another positive.
Aged 22, the plan is for Foyth to become the long term replacement for Raul Albiol, who is now thirty-five and approaching the end of his career. At the time of writing, Unai Emery is partnering Albiol with Pau Torres at the back. Foyth linking up with the latter to form a partnership could see Villareal have a solid pairing for years to come, as Torres is a year older than the new recruit at twenty-three.
Villareal’s move for Foyth makes a lot of sense. If he impresses, they can sign him at a fair price. It’s not every day in the current climate that a 22-year-old with significant potential comes your way for €15m. They get to try before they buy. And, if things don’t work out, he goes back to Spurs, and they haven’t lost out on anything.
Image via @VillarrealCF