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Spurs Eyeing Former United Youngster – Rating the Rumour

This Everton Midfielder the Right Fit For Tottenham?

Welcome back to Rating the Rumour, which does exactly what it says on the tin. We’ll be taking the biggest transfer rumours related to Premier League teams and rating the likelihood of the moves coming to fruition.

The final rating will be decided based on the potential fit of the player into the rumoured buying club, the need for that club to sign a player for the position played, whether the player is of the level required by the club, whether the club could afford the rumoured price and whether or not the player is even likely to be available for transfer.

We will not factor in the reliability of the rumour, as it would likely cause mass amounts of crying from outlets, journalists and “journalists” who would have to be denounced as spoofers.

With the ground rules laid out, let’s look at James Garner to Tottenham, which has been reported by Teamtalk.


Garner is a neat and tidy midfielder, a game manager. He’s not in the same mould as Ange Postecoglou’s preferred starters, Pape Matar Sarr and Yves Bissouma, but could easily play alongside either of them to offer a change of approach for the Australian.

The report suggests Garner as an alternative to Conor Gallagher, which doesn’t make sense as they are completely different types of players and while Gallagher is at his best in an advanced off-ball role, Garner’s attributes lend themselves to a deeper metronome type of role.

Fit Rating – 1/2


At the minute Tottenham don’t really have a need for an additional midfielder but that will likely change in the summer if Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Giovani Lo Celso move on as is expected then space will open up.

Garner would make sense as a replacement for Hojbjerg but would Spurs be better off looking at someone more similar to Bissouma and Sarr? Someone who’d allow them to play the same dynamic style.

Need Rating – 1/2


While Garner has impressed for Everton, they are a team who are competing with much lower expectations than Spurs who have top four and trophy aspirations. It remains to be seen if he’s capable of stepping up and playing for one of the top clubs in the country.

Given his age, it’s definitely a gamble worth taking that he will develop to the required level.

Level Rating – 1/2


Everton paid a fee of £9mil potentially rising to £15mil with add-ons. Everton will want a significant profit on their investment. They are unlikely to want an excessive fee, and Spurs Garner is only 22 and clearly has plenty of room for development.

The plus side of signing a player like Garner, given his age and nationality, is that he will retain his value so it does minimise the risk involved in the transfer.

Affordability Rating – 2/2

For Sale?

The big question. Given Everton’s financial situation, and the looming threat of potential relegation – especially if the Premier League levy another 10 point deduction on them for their second violation of the league’s profit and sustainability rules, it’s like that the majority of players at the club could be available at the right price come summer.

Garner’s age, potential and the likelihood of bigger sales from within the squad such as Jarrad Branthwaite, Amadou Onana and Jordan Pickford, could allow them to hold on to the young English midfielder and use him as a building block for the future.

Availability Rating – 1/2

Final Rating

Overall this one scores out as a 6/10 rumour. There is some sense to it but it doesn’t seem like the right move for Everton or Garner himself, while Spurs might be better served targetting a different profile of midfielder.

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