Arsenal can now use Tottenham Hotspur’s interest in Folarin Balogun replacing Harry Kane to target a transfer for Djed Spence given the injury Jurrien Timber has suffered.
It is extremely rare for the two north London teams to do any business in a transfer window. William Gallas still remains the most recent player to move between the arch-rivals after the one-time Gunners captain joined Spurs in 2010. Arsene Wenger had made him a free agent.
You even have to go back to 2001 when Sol Campbell joined Arsenal for the last time that a Tottenham player joined the Gunners. Likewise, he left Spurs as a free agent. But he went on to win the 2003/04 Premier League title when Arsenal’s Invincibles visited White Hart Lane.
In total, just 15 players have ever featured for both Arsenal and Tottenham, including legend of both clubs Pat Jennings. Emmanuel Adebayor was the last player to join the list in 2011 as he joined Spurs from Manchester City. Arsenal had sold the forward to the Citizens in 2009.
Now, though, Tottenham are considering a move to sign Balogun from Arsenal as they bid to replace Kane. Spurs agreed to sell their talisman to Bayern Munich on Saturday for an initial £86m, rising to £100m with add-ons. He left as their record scorer with 280 in 435 games.
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Tottenham consider a bid for Arsenal striker Balogun to replace Kane
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Arsenal product Balogun is now on Tottenham’s transfer short-list to replace Kane. Chairman Daniel Levy is desperate to avoid a rebellion among the Spurs fanbase after selling their talisman. The club does not view Richarlison as Kane’s heir.
Spurs have just signed Alejo Veliz from Rosario Central for £13m this month. But he is only a future prospect and cannot take over the reins. So, Tottenham are considering moves to sign Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea or Balogun. But Lukaku is pushing to leave the Premier League.
Chelsea also want €50m (£43m) to sell and new Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou questions if the Belgian fits his plans. So, another name on Levy’s shortlist of strikers is a shock swoop to sign Balogun. But Arsenal set Inter Milan a €55m (£47m) asking price for the 22-year-old.
Balogun has a number of suitors in the Premier League which could further complicate a bid by Tottenham. TuttoMercatoWEB also now claims that AS Monaco are considering making a second offer for Balogun. The Ligue 1 team failed with a €40m (£34.5m) offer only last week.
Arteta should ask for Spence in any transfer to sell Balogun to Spurs
Arsenal are negotiating Balogun’s transfer with Inter Milan and Monaco as the USA prospect is out of contract in 2025. He also now has a strong market value after scoring 21 goals in 37 Ligue 1 games on loan with Stade de Reims during 2022/23. He also registered three assists.
But it is beyond unlikely that Arsenal would entertain any negotiations with Tottenham over Balogun replacing Kane across north London. Yet Spurs’ interest in the New York native may provide the Gunners with a chance to improve Mikel Arteta’s team following Timber’s injury.
According to the Evening Standard, Tottenham have told Spence that he is free to leave the club already. Spurs only bought the 23-year-old off Middlesbrough in July 2022 for £12.5m, rising to £20m. But boss Postecoglou does not plan on including the right-back in his teams.
Then-Tottenham manager Antonio Conte even admitted when Spurs signed him that Spence was ‘an investment of the club’. The England U21 talent would go on to play just 41 minutes from six appearances in north London. He also moved to Stade Rennais on loan this January.
Spence enjoyed a regular role with Rennes before suffering a season-ending knee injury this April. He featured 10 times across all competitions for 784 minutes. But the London native’s move to Tottenham remains a mistake. One that Arteta should now try to take advantage of.
Arsenal also know first-hand what Spence can produce after helping Nottingham Forest beat the Gunners last year. He enthralled during an FA Cup match whilst on loan to the Reds from Middlesbrough. Spence ended his spell at the City Ground with three goals and five assists.
Wright loved what Spence showed against the Gunners in 2022
If Tottenham do advance their interest in Balogun, Arteta should demand Spence’s transfer in return. The full-back captivated whilst on loan to Nottingham Forest in 2021/22 to seal a move to Spurs. He also thrilled Arsenal legend Ian Wright for the Reds against the Gunners.
“That was one of the best right-back performances I have seen for a very long time,” he told Wrighty’s House podcast in January 2022. “If we are talking about right-backs performing at an unbelievable level, we’re talking [about] Reece James and Trent [Alexander-Arnold].
“But I have not seen a combative, technical, swashbuckling performance like that for a very long time. I said to him afterwards: ‘Whatever’s happening, whatever you’re doing, the level you’ve just shown us here is the level you have to be consistently hitting, Djed’.
“I said that to him at the end of that [FA Cup third-round] game and all his family were there, and they were saying, ‘Yes! Listen, man! Listen!’ I said to him, in all seriousness, ‘That level we saw there? You should be in the Premier League’. Simple as that.”