Tottenham Hotspur have seen many big names come through their academy at some point, ranging from England superstar Harry Kane to surprisingly David Beckham.
But they may have missed out on a big opportunity with a more unknown talent in Yuri Berchiche.
Back in 2007, the north London outfit poached the then 17-year-old defender from Athletic Bilbao, though it’s the LaLiga side who may have had the last laugh as that’s where the left-back now resides once more.
Do you remember Yuri Berchiche?
It took only three years for former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp to wield his axe on the Spaniard, having been sent out on loan to the likes of Cheltenham Town and Real Valladolid.
“The Spaniard Berchiche is technically a product of Real Sociedad’s academy before moving at 16 to Athletic Bilbao. Spurs then snapped him up a year later and brought him into their academy,” once wrote football.london reporter Alasdair Gold.
“He impressed in the youth sides, but never made the breakthrough into the senior set-up. A loan to Cheltenham Town in League One, where he made just seven appearances, did nothing to convince Harry Redknapp to give him a shot.”
Berchiche subsequently left N17 on a free transfer in 2010, where he joined Segunda B outfit Real Union. His form there then caught the eye of Real Sociedad as a replacement for club legend Alberto de la Bella.
The now 32-year-old would go onto play for Paris Saint-Germain as well and during his one-season stint there, he clinched the league and cup double before finally returning to his boyhood club, Bilbao, in an £18m transfer.
Upon signing for Los Leones, Berchiche’s contract contained a whopping €100m (£89m) release clause – something that has since been excluded due to the veteran signing a new extension back in October 2021.
With 185 of his 383 appearances coming in the Spanish top-flight, you can’t help but feel that Tottenham missed a trick with the Zarautz-born machine, particularly as he once garnered a seven-figure transfer fee and was valued at a whopping £89m by Bilbao, despite leaving north London for absolutely nothing.
You could say both chairman Daniel Levy and Redknapp had a mare with the Basque talent.
AND in other news, Spurs are “long-term admirers” of £50m “magician”, he could finally replace Eriksen…