It was downright comical to watch Tottenham Hotspur's Twitter feed overflowing with delight at Giovani dos Santos playing such a crucial role for Mexico's gold medal team at the Olympics.
Here's hoping their social media operator caught on to the obvious irony of using terminology such as "our player" and "Spurs man" in his or her messages. In Dos Santos' debut season with Tottenham, the Mexican winger played in only five more league games for the team than Dimitar Berbatov, who was shipped out to Manchester United shortly after the season began.
Berbatov played in one game that season for Spurs.
Dos Santos has been such a non-factor for Tottenham over the last four years, that he's actually played in just one game less for Racing Santander, where he enjoyed a six-month loan spell. Since 2008, Mexico has required his services 58 times in the same period. Meanwhile, Giovani has taken part in 33 matches across all competitions for Spurs. At a transfer fee of 6 million euros, Tottenham has paid 181,818 euros every time Dos Santos has stepped onto the pitch for the club.
While saying that Spurs and Dos Santos were never a good fit is stating the obvious, a lot can be said about the chilly relationship Dos Santos had with former manager Harry Redknapp and chairman Daniel Levy, two men who have had millions of judgmental fingers pointed in their direction when the blame from this situation needs directing. Even with Levy willing to grant Dos Santos' exit recently, coupled with Redknapp's exit from the managerial chair, the situation remains difficult for all parties.
Once again, Dos Santos' strong play with the national team seems to be just the ticket to give the player (as well as Levy) the opportunity to shine away from White Hart Lane. Tottenham's record when selling players under Levy's leadership is near-spotless, and while media rightfully focus on how much cash the Londoners will get for Luka Modric, the booty from a potential Dos Santos sale is nothing to sneer at.
The names are tantalizing. Champions League football seems like a near certainty by scanning those interested. Inter Milan and Sevilla appear to be leading the charge on a transfer that most Mexican fans are looking forward to, with Levy and the Spurs pocketing a reported 8 million euros from the sale when it finally occurs. That in itself seems almost ridiculous when talking about a player who, again, has played just 33 times for his current club in four years.
And yet, this thing has gone on for so long that fans and media tend to forget that Dos Santos is barely 23 years old. Essentially, whether Dos Santos has a sparkling club career or a mediocre one, the Tottenham chapter in his career will most likely register as a very short one when it is all said and done. Even then, with all the big names floating around, consistency when it comes to playing time should be the biggest concern on Giovani's mind at this point.
For instance, take Carlos Vela's situation into account. Dos Santos' U-17 buddy escaped a similar situation at Arsenal, landing at Real Sociedad, a team that's not a lock by any means to make a meaningful statement in the Spanish league any time soon, but a team that has locked Vela in as a starter, pitting him against great competition week in and week out.
In essence, that is the only thing Dos Santos and his agent, Vicente Montes, should aspire to at this point. If La Liga relegation candidate Granada wants to pony up 8 million euros to Spurs, say yes. If it's Genoa or Atalanta that want to whisk him away to Italy and not Inter Milan, don't diss the opportunity. Even a stay in the Premier League is preferrable if its with a team willing to give him a serious crack at the starting lineup.
That seems to be the deciding factor in this story, and it has been from day one. It's not so much in Dos Santos' hands, nor is it in Vicente Montes' hands, despite their feverish efforts.
Whoever wants to pay Daniel Levy's asking price will land the man proudly, ironically and even cruelly tweeted to be Tottenham's Olympic gold medalist, Giovani dos Santos.
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