The £36m man who would rubber-stamp Tottenham's status as a big club

The 21-year-old Spaniard has been linked with a move to Spurs.

Excellent young manager signed up to a long-term deal? Check. An abundance of potentially world-class talent in their ranks? Check. Ongoing construction on a £400 million new stadium? Check. Tottenham are becoming a very big club. Now they just need a big-money player which symbolises their unprecedented shift in ambition.

According to The Mail, that player might well be Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez who has been linked with a £36 million move to White Hart Lane - and signing him would be a watershed moment in the club's 134-year history.

Sure, Spurs have spent big money before, but never on that scale and never for players already at one of Europe's best teams. What had Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela or Paulinho achieved in football at the time of their arrivals?

In contrast, this is a man who could be lifting the Champions League trophy for Atletico in less than two weeks, having started 10 of their 12 games in the competition. This is a man who made a mug of Bayern Munich's best in the semi-finals. This is a man who could define an era at Tottenham and his arrival would not go unnoticed by others.

Selling life at Spurs to other targets is easier for manager Mauricio Pochettino with a name like Saul on board. It suggests that the Argentine is not resting on his laurels, continuing to build what already looks a very exciting project in North London and such an attitude is appealing for players.

Of course, Tottenham have always had ambition, spending like a big club without necessarily being one - an outlay of £658 million (Transfer League) for two League Cups and three top-four finishes in 24 years may reflect that - but bringing in Saul would prove they have grown tired of the underachievement which has plagued them in the Premier League era.

It would prove Daniel Levy is now fishing in the same pond as his equivalents at Europe's elite and such a shift in transfer policy symbolises their continued evolution.

Arsenal fans wouldn't like to admit it, but Tottenham are well on their way to becoming a very big club. Nabbing a player of Saul's profile and quality would only accelerate the whole process.

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