Why do fans always think that when you are looking to buy a player he must be replacing a first team player, that isn't always the case. It may be that a club is just strengthening the depth of its squad and that a squad player will be the one replaced.
That is certainly the case at Tottenham with the interest in 23-year-old (24 in December) Everton attacking midfielder Ross Barkley. He will be entering the last year of his contract in the summer so unless he signs a new one then the Toffees will have to cash in before he leaves on a free transfer.
He holds all the cards and has time on his side. The young talent has stagnated at Everton and the great potential he showed as a teenager has not been realised. Everton are not going to be able to give him UEFA Champions League football and he will surely now look to progress his career before it is too late.
Everton fans won't like that, but that's the fact of the matter, they simply aren't a big enough club to hold on to players for long. They are a stepping stone club for players to prove their worth and then move on to someone bigger who can offer more opportunity.
The question is, does Ross Barkley have any ambition? He should have left before now when Manchester United were circling, staying hasn't advanced his career at all. We are clearly very keen on him and he fits the profile of player we are looking for, young with potential to improve.
Whether he will choose Spurs only he knows but he can't help but be impressed by what Mauricio Pochettino has done plus the fact that he trusts youth. Barkley has loads of Premier League experience, another plus and will be cheaper than his full market value because of only having a year remaining.
Anyone who purchases him has an instant increase in his value when he signs on the dotted line and collects his signing bonus. Everton were wanting to sign Moussa Sissoko last summer so no doubt a deal involving him will be discussed at some stage.
If you look at how we have changed the formation of the team this season we have Eriksen and Alli behind Kane. In the wings, we have Son Heung-min and nobody else at the moment. Lamela has done a disappearing act this season, Sissoko has been a disaster, N'Koudou isn't first team standard yet, so there is a spot for Barkley to alternate with the pair.
We still need a backup for Kane who will also fire in the goals. One piece of the jigsaw at a time.
Further THBN Reading
Spurs scouting striker Giovanni Simeone
Steve Hitchen assessing Montpellier striker Mounie
Real Madrid scouting ex-Spurs academy player
BREAKING NEWS: Lacazette has agreed to join Griezmann at Atletico Madrid
New stadium construction animation video
US summer fixtures and Tim Sherwood ban
Over 850 Spurs articles at Tottenham Hotspur News