Tottenham are considering a move for Barcelona winger Christian Tello, after he rejected an offer from Liverpool and his preferred move to Fiorentina failed to materialize.
Having left Camp Nou for Porto on a two-season loan in 2014, later moving on to the Italian side when that deal was rescinded in January 2016, it seems that the 24-year-old’s best chances of first-team football lay away from his parent club.
Tello departed Cataluyna a youngster who had scored 20 goals in 86 appearances across three campaigns on the periphery of the Barca first team.
There can be little shame in a prospect failing to supplant Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in the Blaugrana pecking order, but what has the world learned of the now-24-year-old on his gap years?
A decent return of eight goals and 11 assists during his first term at Porto belied the continued struggles for consistency that may have ultimately scotched his hopes of becoming a latter-day Pedro figure at Barcelona.
There were high points, such as a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Sporting Lisbon, but by the time of that March, 2015 win, he was already in and out of the side after a run of seven appearances with one set up as his sole contribution.
Tello’s second campaign at Estadio do Dragao was something of wash out and he mustered a solitary assist from his 11 league outings, seven of which came as a substitute.
Leaving Portugal soon after former Barcelona star and Dragons manager Julen Lopetegui, the move to Florence seemed to have a rejuvenating effect.
Some 15 appearances during the second half of the Serie A season brought two goals and five assists, but once again his inability to produce the goods regularly was evident at Stadio Artemio Franchi.
All bar one strike and as many of the aforementioned set-ups came during his first six games for la Viola, before he dried up for seven showings, only coming to life again on the last day of 2015/16.
Perhaps, having crossed paths with the young Tello while they were both at Espanyol in 2009/10, Lilywhites boss Mauricio Pochettino believes he knows the key to getting the winger to perform consistently.
If not, then Tottenham, 9/1 to win the Premier League, could arguably spend whatever fee the Spaniard commands more wisely elsewhere.