Tottenham Hotspur were one of several teams heavily linked with the signature of Croatian sensation Tin Jedvaj this summer. The 17-year-old central defender had quickly established a reputation as one of the best young players on the continent - with impressive displays at international youth level and for his club side Dinamo Zagreb.
It was even reported in Croatia and England that both Jedvaj and fellow superstar Alen Halilovic had actually agreed a deal to join the club in the summer.
But in the end he did as so many Croatian talents do and decided a switch to Italy was in his better interests. On July 10th it was confirmed that Roma had signed the player for a fee of £4.3 million.
Jedvaj even publicly acknowledged the strong interest from Spurs after signing for Roma:
"In the last weeks, there had been a strong interest from Tottenham, but Roma did a strong negotiation and now I'm happy to be in this group. My hope is to win titles, to repay the faith the club showed me and to show myself at the best of my potential to help Roma get a European place.’’
And now the Croatian - who has only played seven minutes of Serie A football since becoming a Roma player - has been involved in yet another transfer tussle.
He was all set to join Hellas Verona on loan until the end of the season yesterday.
The deal was all in place - but at the last minute the manager Rudi Garcia changed his mind and sent midfielder Marquinho to the club instead.
He reportedly wanted to keep Jedvaj - as yet another show of faith in the talented defender.
Today he has spoken of the decision, suggesting that sending him out on loan at 18 was perhaps slightly premature:
“Sabatini has worked very well for the future. Due to these young people believe that Roma will have great quality in the future. Follow all these guys and in the case of the two boys mentioned are two different situations. Tin was only 18 years old while Romagnoli we kept after the injury of Dodo and to Balzaretti. To my mind can play on the left wing. "
Question is, would he be getting game-time now if he had joined Tottenham instead?
image: © thearcticblues