It looks like Tottenham’s summer is about to get interesting as they prepare to sign Spanish wonderkid Bryan Gil.
The 20-year-old is set to join from Sevilla, swapping places with Argentina midfielder Erik Lamela, while an extra €25million (£21.6m) and add-ons will also go to the LaLiga side.
You know it’s potentially a cracking deal when supporters of the selling club are unhappy with the terms offered.
When news of the deal was broken by journalist Fabrizio Romano on Twitter, many were taken aback at the thought of losing their starlet, who spent last season on loan with Eibar.
He may only have registered four goals and three assists in LaLiga over 28 appearances but his other statistics firmly placed him as one of the best wingers in the land.
And Spain certainly has some excellent players in that mould right now.
His performances for Eibar were drawing interest from plenty of clubs before Spurs swooped with their offer.
Former Barca scout ‘Mani’ told Cadena Ser back in February: “Right now he is Spain’s best footballer and I compare him with Neymar. He can do certain things and has great versatility, as he can play at full-back in the middle or on the left wing. It’s impressive.
“I have spoken with Roman Planes (Barcelona’s sporting director) about him and he has Bryan Gil in mind.”
Gil, though, isn’t too interested in hearing such comparisions.
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He told Marca: “He is one of my favourite players. I find it very crazy to be compared to Neymar. I am not very into reading the news or being on social networks, and when friends sent me that I liked it but for now It seems crazy to me.”
And what of the Barcelona interest? Well, he took it in his stride.
He added: “I always like to be on the agenda of one of the best teams in the world, but I have a contract until 2023 with Sevilla and my agent will take care of whether to do it or not. For now I can’t, I don’t want to get involved in those things.”
A direct left-footed winger, on the left flank, Gil is a bit of a throwback in a game full of inside forwards who cut inside at every opportunity.
And while Eibar may have been relegated after finishing 20th in Spain last season, his stats put him amongst the best in the division.
His 52 key passes placed him seventh in LaLiga, he fired in the fourth most crosses (110), and dribbled past the fourth most amount of player (78), amongst other impressive numbers, including the eighth most shot creating actions per 90 minutes (3.87).
Oh, and he nutmegged seven players last season – the same amount as one Lionel Messi. Good company to be in.
Spanish publication Marca likened the 20-year-old to Barcelona and Ajax legend John Cruyff for his skills on the pitch, and his looks too, with a lank haircut framing his features.
And he’s already making waves on the international scene.
He’s made three appearances for Luis Enrique’s Spain side and was certainly in the race to be a part of their Euro 2020 squad.
“I like him a lot. From the first talk I have had with him, I see him as very mature and very calm,” said Enrique
Instead, though, he will represent his nation at the Olympics in Tokyo, alongside Barcelona wonderkid Pedri, ex-Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos, and Real Madrid star Marco Asensio.
And while he may be leaving Sevilla having started only one game for the club, he did help them win the Europa League in 2019/20.
Gil played in four matches of their European campaign and that start coming in a 1-0 loss to APOEL Nicosia.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) July 20, 2021
Meanwhile, in a previous loan spell with Leganes, he also managed to score against Real Madrid, so he has fine pedigree for one so young.
Now the intrigue comes from where Nuno Espirito Santo sees him in his plans.