£12m Matt Doherty Represents Great Business for Tottenham - Here's Why

Aug 27, 2020, 9:00 PM GMT+1
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Doherty has been the model of consistency at Wolves | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/Getty Images
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It's looking more and more likely that Wolves' Matt Doherty will be the latest player to arrive at Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

Talks appear to have progressed quickly between the two clubs, and a deal for Doherty - whom José Mourinho is said to be a huge fan of - could even be struck for an initial £12m, rising to £16m with add-ons.

Wolves are pushing to sign Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles as a replacement, which is further indication that things have fallen into place nicely - and quickly - for Spurs. Not only will the club be signing a player of immense and undervalued class, they appear to be covering their tracks should Serge Aurier continue marching towards the exit door.

Serge Aurier
Aurier is set to leave Spurs this summer | Michael Regan/Getty Images

All in all, the deal makes a tremendous amount of sense for Tottenham. Sure, his potential arrival is dividing fans on Twitter, with many feeling the club should be targeting a more ambitious name. But the reality is that Doherty could be one of the shrewdest bits of Premier League business we see all summer, particularly for the price that looks likely to be paid.

Over the last two seasons, only Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold has created more chances than Doherty when compared to other Premier League right-backs. The Irishman can also play left-back, but is most comfortable marauding forward as an attacking right wing-back - a system that Mourinho has employed at Spurs on a regular basis.

It's a system that was first introduced against West Ham in November, when Son Heung-min helped fire Spurs to a 3-2 victory. Never before had Mourinho experimented with such a formation, and there was a feeling that he'd turned to it in order to get the best out of Aurier.

After all, he didn't have many alternatives on hand after Kieran Trippier's departure to Atletico Madrid. Sadly, despite persevering with the system, Aurier has continued to switch off defensively, rendering his slightly more promising attacking play null and void.

Even that facet of his game has been disappointing. Son, and more pertinently Harry Kane, thrive off impeccable service on the flanks, and that's what Mourinho needed from Aurier on the right-hand side. Good quality crosses, giving the pair opportunities to attack the ball and get an effort away on goal.

Sadly, that's not been the case and instead, he's continued to be perceived as a bit of a loose cannon - capable of moments on magic, but more likely to deliver unexpected negativity.

Doherty, on the other hand, is the model of consistency, who looks purpose built for the modern rigours of Premier League football. Not only would he instantly become a regular starter, he'd arrive as a player wanting to prove that his form at Wolves has been no flash in the pan.

He's excelled at Molineux playing in the very system that Mourinho wants to operate with, pressing oppositions defenders back and providing great width on the right hand side. He also has a terrific engine on him, and has shown time and again that he's more than competent at tracking back and getting his hands dirty in the tackle.

Doherty got UEFA Europa League experience with Wolves, a competition Spurs will be looking to win
Doherty got UEFA Europa League experience with Wolves, a competition Spurs will be looking to win | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

The 28-year-old has also only missed two Premier League games in the two seasons Wolves have been in England's top flight, making him a player Mourinho can regularly count on to be available.

It would be incredible business if Spurs could sign a new starting full-back for less than the value Aurier could potentially depart for, too. Any excess money received could then be put towards another centre-back, attacking midfielder or backup striker - depending on where the club sees the next priority being.

Another perk of Doherty arriving is that he'd take up a place on the club's homegrown quota, which will benefit Spurs in European competition. In years gone by, keeping in line with squad regulations has been difficult - leading to the likes of Juan Foyth and Victor Wanyama being left out of the club's Champions League squad.

With Spurs now at their limit of 17 overseas players - following the arrival of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton - a 'one in one out' tactic will be need to be used for the rest of the transfer window. This, obviously, doesn't apply to Doherty as he spent the required three years rising up through Wolves' academy.

In summary, Doherty joining is a win-win all round - there's not a single negative thing you can say about the move, and is evidence that José Mourinho is going to get the support he needs in the transfer market.

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