Adam Johnson: apparently less worthy of a first-team place than Gareth Barry.
One of Tottenham's busiest days this summer for transfer news (mainly in the outgoing respect) has now seen the confirmation of a long-term rumour as the BBC reports that the club has made an enquiry over Manchester City winger Adam Johnson. According to the outlet's sources, Tottenham are facing competition for the attacking midfielder's signature from Sunderland and Liverpool; only the former of these two has reportedly made a formal bid for the player.
Though Johnson doesn't represent a solution to the striker and creative central midfielder issues that have plagued Tottenham's transfer window, the 25 year old would nonetheless provide an injection of quality into any top Premier League side. The lack of playing time he has suffered since joining Manchester City from Middlesborough in 2010 speaks not to his personal qualities, which include agility and a fantastic left footed shoot, but instead to the ever-expanding depth of competition at the club, which explains City's desire to overload Johnson before September 1st. For similar reasons, it's fair to speculate that Johnson would be available at a Levy-pleasing affordable price- it's also fair to speculate that Johnson would slot comfortably into AVB's preferred style of play as a cutting-in goal threat winger that can easily swap wings with his counterparts to throw off opposition defenders.
Assessing our competition in the bidding war over Johnson, it's fair to say that Tottenham would be in with a more than fair chance of landing the winger should we firm up our interest. While Sunderland could probably guarantee him the most playing time, it's likely that Johnson's foray into the Champions League would have lead him to seek a slightly higher probability of European football in his next move. Liverpool certainly have the wage structure to pay Johnson what he's currently on at City and can never be written off for a top five placing, but finished below Tottenham in the league the last two seasons and are currently in the midst of a tactical rebirth under Brendan Rodgers which could preclude an immediate return to Europe. Provided the club don't decide the money could be better spent on more urgent needs, it'll be worth keeping an eye on this unfolding story in the coming weeks.