Tactical Insights

REPORT: Swedish prospect Lucas Bergvall to decide between Tottenham & Barcelona

Remember those halcyon days of two hours ago when I wrote that it seemed unlikely Tottenham Hotspur would have any other incoming players in this window and Matty looked at a transfer rumor and rated it a 4/5 on the Guano Meter? Hahahaha, I’m such a sweet summer child, this is bat country!

But seriously, I’m going to include a “young, talented player for the future” exception to Ange’s statement because it seems there just might be one. Yesterday, news emerged that Spurs have been interested in signing 17-year old Swedish central midfielder Lucas Bergvall from IF Brommapojkarna (and yes I absolutely cut and pasted that). Bergvall is considered one of the hottest young prospects in Sweden right now, but the problem was that he was destined for Barcelona — reports from Spain said his parents were already in Barcelona to sign the paperwork. You can read Matty’s report on that here — “who wouldn’t want to be paid in supermarket coupons and fresh air” seems a pretty darned appropriate (and hilarious) summary considering the information we had available at that time.

Oh well, another player destined for La Masia, right? Well, maybe not! There’s a new report out this morning from the Expressen (Sweden) that claims the Spanish reports that he’s dead set on Barca are wide of the mark, and that he’s going to decide very soon whether he wants to play his football in Catalonia, or in North London. According to the report, the transfer fee could end up as high as £18m if he hits certain performance benchmarks over the proposed five-year contract. That would make him the most expensive signing ever from the Swedish league (even more than Zlatan Ibrahimovic).

There’s a fun, and mostly paywalled, report in The Scouted Notebook on Bergvall which I haven’t fully read, but the publicly available part talks about how Brommapojkarna (I typed it this time, honest) is one of the largest and most prolific youth academies in Sweden — Dejan Kuluesvski is an alum — and Bergvall is considered as potentially one of its most hyped products. I’ve never seen him play and neither have you, but it sounds like if Spurs were to sign him it’d be a similarish signing to Luka Vuskovic — a young guy with gobs of potential who would otherwise be scarfed up by a larger club. Like, for example, Barcelona!

Here’s the deal — Barcelona have money, but they’re hamstrung by FFP issues such that they’re not able to actually register new players until they deal with their FFP debt. It’s not clear if that would apply to youth signings or not, and maybe that’s a factor here. It’s also the end of the transfer window so a dose of healthy skepticism is always warranted. I have no idea whether Swedish Express is as (un)reliable as the English Express, but there does seem to be some there there for whatever that’s worth.

I’m all in favor of Tottenham loading up on young talented players who can develop into the next great Spurs squad under Ange Postecoglou, so this seems like both a fun and exciting rumor to track. Looks like Young Mssr. Bergvall has a choice to make. Let’s hope he makes the right one.

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