Tottenham faced heavy competition from Serie A two summers ago to sign Vlad Chiriches, ultimately coming out the victors with a successful £7.5 millon bid.
A highly-rated prospect, the Romanian had been tipped to be one of the finest defenders of the upcoming generation, then a raw 23-year-old.
To date, however, his tenure at White Hart Lane hasn’t exactly gone as planned. Chiriches’ first season was marked by inconsistency – he managed just 17 Premier League appearances.
Over the summer he was linked with a quick exit but Spurs looked uninterested in giving up on him after on only a single campaign. Unfortunately, struggles have ensued.
Chiriches hasn’t featured since his disastrous showing against Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League in early October, totaling just 270 minutes of football thus far.
He hasn’t been able to get in the team even as new boy Federico Fazio has been slow to bed in, with veterans Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul the workhorses at centre-back.
According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Serie A clubs are now eyeing up the Romanian again, specifically giants Juventus and Inter.
Both are said to want Chiriches on loan in January, which would offer him a chance to find his feet once again in different surroundings and get minutes under his belt.
But the problem is that this likely wouldn’t happen for Chiriches at either club. The two are interested in the Romanian primarily as cover – a short-term option in a time of need.
Juventus and Inter each play with three at the back, meaning at least five reliable options are needed. The Bianconeri are currently without long-term casualty Andrea Barzagli, while Nerazzurri boss Walter Mazzarri doesn’t trust Marco Andreolli and Hugo Campagnaro.
Therefore, each side require another centre-back. Chriches presents a good opportunity for them – but the deal would possibly be rather raw for Tottenham and the player.
Sending Chiriches out on loan would make sense if he were to be getting the playing time he needs to develop, given that his confidence is low with limited opportunities at Spurs.
After a successful loan spell, he could return to home base and have another crack at breaking into the side. But simply sitting on the bench in another country won’t help at all.
The latter would be the likely scenario for Chiriches at Juventus and Inter. Spurs would be better off keeping him than sending him to either club, even if it’s a tempting proposition.
If Chiriches is to go out on loan it needs to be to a club where minutes are a guarantee, and that something that can’t be said of the two interested Italian giants.