For the last two years, Tottenham's Danny Rose was the best left-back in England. Only injury has prevented him from continuing that streak into 2017/18, but it's a title he may never get back.
Not because of quality, but because his vocal desire to be justifiably paid like the best left-back in England is going to violate the terms of Tottenham's austerity.
So there are many transfer rumours, most link him with Manchester United. But now El Gol Digital are reporting that Barcelona are interested in Rose and a potential swap deal with Jordi Alba is on the cards.
Would that deal make sense? From Tottenham's perspective, sure. They'd have to pay Jordi Alba top wages, sure, but they'd got an established superstar who is world-class when properly coached.
Alba is a speed demon who can defend and attack in equal measure and has a penchant for the big occasion. All Tottenham players would benefit from this but especially Dele Alli, who would thrive off Alba's deft cutbacks to the top of the box.
Moreover Alba has been there and done it, he's won all there is to win in the club game and could help bring some of that fire and competitive spirit to a Tottenham side so often lacking it.
So should Barcelona consent to this deal? After all they'd be getting Danny Rose, a player who is one year younger than Alba and also possesses a more dynamic and creative ability with the ball.
Alba is very much a straight-line player. Sometimes a more nuanced approach is needed and he fails to deliver. Rose, however, is a more nuanced player and could thus further improve the Barcelona attack in that way as seen for Tottenham.
But the answer is no, Barcelona should absolutely not agree to this swap.
Sure, Rose is a more all-around talent than Alba, but he's not so considerably better as to offset the Catalan's other virtues. While Rose is fast, Alba is near supersonic when running. Barcelona have gotten used to having Alba's pace as an offensive and defensive weapon; taking it away would require a restructuring of the way the team defends.
And then there's the key issue: Jordi Alba's chemistry with Leo Messi. Obviously Messi is so good he could have tactical chemistry with a dog, but his link with Alba is as instinctive as anything outside of his now-severed connection with Dani Alves.
Alba just plain gets Messi. He knows when to time his runs, he knows when to hold the ball and when to release. His ability to find Messi with his cutbacks is legendary. And if Alba's finishing was sharper he'd bag so many goals from Messi's diagonal passes.
These are things you can't buy, and chemistry like Messi and Alba's is one of them. Alba has assisted Messi 4 times this season and of course the duo hooked up for that legendary last minute winner against Real Madrid last season. What they have is telepathic; and Barcelona would be barmy to do this deal.