Not since Ashley Cole left these shores for Rome last summer has an English left back divided national opinion quite like Danny Rose, so it is particularly apt that reports today are linking Chelsea with a surprise move for the Spurs man.
Of course, unlike Cole’s divisiveness, Rose’s varied reputation focuses exclusively on his footballing talents. And while social media should only ever be used to judge extremes rather than any form of consensus, a search of Rose’s name on Twitter reveals that his stock ranges from being ranked as England’s best left back, to a signing that would represent a damning indictment of Chelsea’s youth academy.
After allowing reserve left back Filipe Luis return to Spain following a single unremarkable season at Stamford Bridge, it is expected that Chelsea will source a replacement before the transfer window closes.
And while Augsburg’s highly-rated Ghanaian international Abdul Baba Rahman is another name believed to have caught the eyes of Chelsea’s vast scouting network, Rose is reported to have made Jose Mourinho’s shortlist without a typo being made, on the basis that the Doncaster-born 25-year-old will boost the club’s home-grown quota. Rose is 5/2 to be playing in Chelsea blue next season.
Despite being a professional since 2007, Rose is yet to reach 130 league appearances, but has managed to rack up six clubs (four of them loan spells) and has made a distinct impression at most.
After impressing Brendan Rodgers and Darren Ferguson during respective spells at Watford and Peterborough, Rose finally made his Spurs debut – three years after signing from Leeds – in April 2010, scoring a goal-of-the-season volley in a north London derby win over Arsenal.
Despite such a scenario seemingly setting Rose up as a White Hart Lane legend for life, few Spurs fans mourned his loan departure to Sunderland in August 2012, where he went on to claim Young Player of the Season at the Stadium of Light, becoming an instant favourite as arguably the most creative player in a struggling Martin O’Neill side.
In a bizarre state of affairs, both Sunderland and Spurs fans were dismayed at the news of his new five-year contract last summer, with Black Cats disappointed that Rose would not be joining them full time, and Tottenham fans underwhelmed that he was staying, particularly after the £9m capture of Ben Davies from Spurs.
Undeterred, Rose finished last season as Spurs’ first choice left back, having won the fans over and with boss Mauricio Pochettino lauding him as the country’s best left back, urging Roy Hodgson to reward his performances with an international cap. Rose finished the season with three goals, more than any other English full back, though with five assists he did trail the league-topping Leighton Baines, who registered nine.
In both cases though he trumps Chelsea’s current left-back Cesar Azpilicueta, who failed to find the net and produced only three assists all season. Spurs will no doubt point to these superior attacking returns, along with adding “home-grown tax” when coming up with a valuation for their man, while Chelsea will seek to haggle on the basis that Spurs have a ready-made £9m replacement waiting patiently in the wings, not to mention additional defensive reinforcements in new signings Toby Alderweireld and Keiran Trippier.
Pochettino’s solid if unspectacular signings so far this summer sees Spurs priced at 4/1 to finish in the top four.
With Spurs chairman Daniel Levy a renowned tough negotiator in any transfer activity, expect Rose’s asking price to reach the levels of £10-£15m. Should Levy be looking for more, Chelsea will likely opt to improve their British quota elsewhere in the squad, and switch their sights back to the £17m-rated Rahman, who is four years younger. Rose to remain a Spurs player come the end of the transfer window is priced at 2/5.