Talk of Ross Barkley signing for Tottenham Hotspur can now come to an end, as the England international midfielder penned a deal to join Chelsea on Friday.
The former Everton playmaker has long been linked with a move to Spurs, with a lot of speculation in the press over the summer months that Mauricio Pochettino wanted to bring him to North London.
Since then, Barkley has been on the sidelines through injury and with only six months left on his Goodison Park contract, Chelsea are believed to have signed him for just £15 million.
Given the astronomical transfer fees in the modern market, landing Barkley clearly would have been a relatively affordable option for Tottenham – but one that was not followed up on.
Pochettino has helped a host of young English players to improve during his time at Spurs and there is no doubt that if Barkley got back to his best in North London under the Argentine’s stewardship, he could have been an excellent addition to the squad.
However, there must be question marks over where the midfielder would have fitted in at Tottenham.
Some Spurs fans may have seen Barkley as a longer-term replacement for Mousa Dembele, whose unique ability to dribble and create from central midfield will be hard to deputise for in a year or two when the Belgian departs the club.
However, for Everton, the England international has predominantly operated further forward in his career, meaning comparisons with Dembele have been rebuffed by other supporters.
Barkley, as talented as he is, would surely have struggled to have received regular first-team football at Tottenham in an attacking midfield role, as Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-min, Dele Alli and Erik Lamela operate in these positions.
The Spurs fans have taken to Twitter after the deal with Chelsea has been confirmed, with mixed opinions on social media.
Plenty of the Tottenham supporters are disappointed that the club have not paid the £15 million needed to land Barkley.
However, others are not overly worried about him moving elsewhere and feel he would not have been a readymade replacement for Dembele.
Not paying £15m for Ross Barkley illustrates thin line between genius and madness of Daniel Levy. His decisions continues to debilitate THFC at key moments
— Sam Collins (@sampsoncollins) January 5, 2018
— Paul Lees (@Leesy29) January 6, 2018
— Hotspur F.C (@HotspurFC82) January 6, 2018
— towfael islam (@toaf12) January 6, 2018
Disappointed #thfc never took a £15m punt on Barkley. Could have been a potential winner for them, not quite Gazza but still very good, especially at that price. Another English talent to be restricted/ wasted at Chelsea.
— Jason Goodall (@Jason_Goodall) January 5, 2018
Not sure how to feel about Barkley but when I consider it would have been him or Sissoko coming off the bench we should rightly feel annoyed about missing out. Poch better have one hell of a player in mind if he’s pulling plugs on deals like this
— THFC Fans (@THFC__Fans) January 5, 2018
If we had signing Barkley it would have been OK
Now that we haven't signed him Well that's OK
— John Morgan♐ (@JohnTHFCMorgan) January 5, 2018
Barkley will get splinters at Chelsea. Would not see him fitting in at Spurs
— Paul Fry (@paulmarkfry) January 6, 2018
I’ve seen a lot of fans share their disappointment for not getting Barkley because we need to push on for top 4.
Barkley has been out for 7 months so wouldn’t improve our options until maybe the end of the season.
— COYS Report (@COYSReport) January 6, 2018
This furore over Barkley is ridiculous. Due to the finances of this deal we know this is a decision made by Poch for footballing reasons rather than by Levy for monetary ones. We have a very good manager, why do fans think their judgement is better than his? #THFC
— Nick Cowan (@nicktheyid61) January 6, 2018
Doubt barkley will perform like he used to. Long injury surely will affect his play and poch system requires high demand of physical traits. Wages also the issue here since we're just begining to break out current structure.
— Suryo (@jippooo) January 6, 2018
Not too bummed that we didn't get Barkley in January. Long term he would have been nice to have. For the rest of the month we need to try and find a dynamic playmaker who can actually get in our first 11 and make an impact in West Ham type games. #THFC #COYS
— Aaron Pitters (@aaronpitters) January 5, 2018
What are your thoughts?