Why are Tottenham suddenly buying players with such remarkable efficiency, eh?
That's 2020 for ya.
Nevertheless, after reports first emerged on a memorable Tuesday evening for the Lilywhite faithful that Spurs were closing in on a deal for Real Madrid left-back Sergio Reguilon, the club are expected to announce the arrival of the Spaniard on Friday. Just like that.
An unforeseen deal for a mightily talented full-back alone certainly would've been enough to excite Spurs fans, and you have to feel a wee bit sorry for the 23-year-old with news of Gareth Bale's spectacular N17 return emerging almost simultaneously.
This is an excellent bit of business by Spurs. Reguilon's set to join in a €30m deal which also includes a €40-45m buyback clause. The Spaniard may not evolve into a long-term option, but he immediately bolsters a position which Spurs fans were hesitant to admit needed strengthening because Ben Davies is such a nice guy.
The 23-year-old enjoyed a fantastic loan spell at Sevilla last season in which he ended the campaign with eight goal contributions in 38 appearances across three competitions.
Reguilon's a live wire in the final third, timing both over and underlapping runs in this zone of the pitch to perfection. It's his astute awareness of his teammates' positioning and movement which ensures he often makes the right decision in regards to what run to make, as he struck a potent dynamic with Lucas Ocampos during the back end of last season - epitomised by his assist for Suso's equaliser against Manchester United in their Europa League semi-final.
The Spaniard played a key role in Sevilla's eventual success in Europe's second showpiece during the competition's epilogue in Germany last month; dazzling in the last 16 victory over Roma with a tremendous individual goal, before his aggression helped thwart the effectiveness of Danilo D'Ambrosio in the final against Inter amid a sturdy and well-rounded display.
Overall, though, it's clear that Reguilon isn't the profile of left-back to be playing in Jose Mourinho's current system at Spurs.
Mourinho's current number one option at that spot, Davies, was identified as a key member of the side by the Portuguese string-puller following his injury against West Ham back in November due to the system he wanted to adopt.
Spurs set-up to attack in an asymmetric 4-2-3-1, which means the Welshman drifts infield to form a back three to allow the right-back to advance. Thus, their attacking shape often looks like a 3-2-4-1 or 3-2-5. There have been occasions where Davies was granted the freedom to attack as well - particularly after the restart - but the asymmetric approach has been the general idea.
Reguilon, however, doesn't fit the bill to play the Davies role, it'll be a complete waste of his talents. So what are Mourinho's options?
The first appears very un-Jose-like, and that's to allow both full-backs - Reguilon and Matt Doherty - to advance in what would like a 2-3-4-1 shape in possession. It's Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool-esque with three central midfielders tasked with keeping the side compact and protecting the two centre-backs against the counter. Son Heung-min and Bale (!!!) would serve as inside forwards allowing the full-backs to overlap.
Maintaining his current shape is also a possibility, but with the wide overload that comes with the asymmetric 4-2-3-1 instead coming down Reguilon's left.
But to facilitate this switch, either Japhet Tanganga or Juan Foyth will have to be utilised at right-back and form the back three in possession, while Matt Doherty will be questioning why he ever made the switch to north London. This option seems unlikely.
Perhaps the most exciting possibility is a switch to a back three with Reguilon functioning as a wing-back. The Spaniard's blessed with the requisite engine to fulfil this role effectively, while his capacity to track runners stands out as a defining defensive attribute - key for a wing-back. A switch to a back three would also be beneficial for Doherty.
Overall, a shift away from Mourinho's asymmetrical structure may be the right move.
Despite early signs of promise during the manager's honeymoon period - they were able to progress vertically with impressive efficiency amid Dele Alli's resurgence and score plenty of goals - this system has since produced often stale and predictable performances reliant on that advanced full-back as the sole outlet.
Possession is stagnant while there's a distinct lack of movement. Harry Kane's not finding himself in goalscoring positions enough and Son's effectiveness has dwindled markedly due to his role in the system.
With Davies' attacking licence almost withdrawn, the South Korean's tasked with maintaining the width down the left flank. But what's frequently occurred is Son being forced deeper to receive possession, while a lack of combinations and bodies down that side have left the superstar winger isolated. He's not taking up positions where he can be so dangerous, nor is he running in behind enough. Son remains potent in transition - where Spurs have impressed since Mourinho's arrival - but he, like Spurs as a unit, seem too reliant on these situations for a source of goals.
Nevertheless, the South Korean - as are the rest of Spurs' attacking talents- is poised to be a beneficiary of Reguilon's arrival. The Spaniard adds a fresh dynamic to the Lilywhites' attack.
For Mourinho, establishing a balance is paramount.
The imminent arrival of Reguilon and a former icon is a mouth-watering prospect for the club and the pair undoubtedly have the capacity to elevate Mourinho's men to the next level - whatever that may be - provided that equilibrium is established in Spurs' dynamics.
Source : 90min