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.
What are your thoughts?