July 4, 2013
Earlier this week Spurs announced that Massimo Luongo and Grant Hall were to join League One side Swindon Town on loan for the season.
Rumours suggest that they may shortly be joined by both Alex Pritchard and Nathan Byrne. Byrne had been announced as a permanent signing by Swindon Town’s chairman, Jed McCrory, at a supporters group meeting back in April – apparently prematurely as, by all accounts, Byrne remains contracted to Spurs for the time being.
Young full-back Jack Barthram, released by Spurs after his contract expired, has joined Swindon permanently as the links between the two clubs grow.
After Dean Parrett, Nathan Byrne and Massimo Luongo spent time on loan at the County Ground last season, there has been growing speculation of an unofficial partnership being formed.
There are clearly links there, and indeed there were rumours that the Swindon manager, Kevin Macdonald, would join Spurs’ Academy set-up after he had left Aston Villa. The move never materialised though, and he joined Swindon, but there remains an apparent respect for the work he is doing in nurturing young talent.
Spurs have previously sent multiple players to one club – Yeovil, for example, where we sent Townsend and Obika, and later Mason and Caulker. This is, it appears, a deliberate ploy; it could be to help the young players settle more quickly, to make monitoring progress more easy, because there are few coaching set-ups that we trust, or a combination of the three.
Luongo and Pritchard both played Championship football last season and I would imagine that both are capable of doing so again. In theory, though, Luongo being tied down to a season-long loan means that he can’t be recalled and sent to a Championship club in January should he naturally progress, due to FA rules.
This has lead to talk of a sneaky work-around. Could Spurs have actually sold the players – i.e. transferred their registration – with a buy-back clause of £1? I guess we will find out in January.