The saga revolving around the young Mexican international continues.It was last Friday that Olympic coach Luis Tena announced that Dos Santos would report to the Olympic team this week, sparking hope that the attacker’s long battle to get out of a bad situation at Tottenham would soon be over. Reports emerged that he was on the brink of signing with Atletico Madrid, then Malaga.
But it was not to be. At least not yet. And a stubborn Tottenham deserves most of the blame. What do they have against Gio?
To be fair, teams have a right to get what they can for their players. But the disconnect between what the Spurs seem to think of Dos Santos on the field and off it is too stark to explain through any logic.
If the player is so valuable that he can’t be sold for what seems to be the market price, with just a year left on his contract, then why in the world doesn’t he see the field more in north London?
On the other hand, if he’s not good enough to play consistently for Spurs, then only Tottenham’s directors understand why they wouldn’t want to cash in on offers from other clubs, among them the two Spanish teams, before Gio walks for free next year.
It all makes so little sense - even for the often puzzling world of professional soccer. The situation actually raises the question whether some form of arbitration should be available to footballers in like situations. But though Gio has considered trying to get out of his contract, the general opinion is that nothing can be done for a player left high and dry by his club in this way.
There is plenty of precedent for players unhappy where they’re at, but the situations seldom come to this. Normally, when a player doesn’t want to be in the team, the response will be “he can go if he wants.”
That means the player finds another club, and negotiates terms, and moves on at a median price. Some resolution is almost always found, since both player and club lose from having players stagnating inactive.
The player, though, loses more. Such has undoubtedly been the case with Dos Santos, who has seen what could have been several productive seasons vanish while sitting the bench in London. Who knows where Gio - who, remarkably, showed his ability over the summer in a Mexican jersey despite all the inactivity - would be today if he had just gotten the chance to prove himself at Tottenham.
The only question left now is will this saga be settled sooner, or later? Dos Santos has made the rounds of Spain and has suitors, but what had looked like an imminent resolution has not arrived this week.
Finally on the ground in Mexico, Dos Santos revealed that the sticking point is once again the disparity between Tottenham’s asking price and what Spanish clubs, notably Malaga, are offering for a player with whom they can come to terms for free if they wait just six more months.
Malaga and Atletico Madrid both sound like great destinations for Gio, but anywhere he would play will do for now. Of course Dos Santos could go out on another loan, but he’s reluctant to do so since he wants to start fresh at a new club, not take his chances with PT for a club that has nothing fully invested in his long term future.
That’s a gamble that may or may not pay off. If Gio were to show well on loan, he’d be in even better position for a big payday when his Tottenham contract comes due next summer.
Another situation everyone seems to be overlooking is that new Tottenham coach Andres Villas-Boas could well have plans for the Mexican. The most important thing right now is getting in the best possible situation. That may turn out to be Tottenham after all, but only if Gio is guaranteed a fair shake.
The good news for Mexico is that the timing of all this means Dos Santos’ situation will finally be settled well before the World Cup rolls around in 2014. As well as Dos Santos has played without featuring for his club, El Tri will need a totally in-form Dos Santos to make a deep run in Brazil.
For the meantime, though, it looks like all parties are poised to call Tottenham’s bluff. Once on track to a quick solution, Gio’s situation may well now drag one through the summer.
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