When Giovani dos Santos arrived at Tottenham Hotspur in 2008, Spurs’ fans had much to anticipate given his performance the previous season at Barcelona. Then reality struck hard.
As the Premier League season begins, rumors have circulated about a possible transfer of dos Santos to Spanish side Sevilla. Such a move would end what became a four-year period in which dos Santos has spent more time away from White Hart Lane than inside the stadium.
Dos Santos arrived at Tottenham with much fanfare: he had a full, productive season at Barcelona and just became a member of the Mexican national squad, both as an 18-year-old. Instead, dos Santos became a virtual non-entity after playing just 12 matches for Spurs in that first season.
Europe was in the itinerary for dos Santos, but not in the way he expected. While Tottenham was competing in the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues, dos Santos found himself loaned to Championship side Ipswich Town (2009), Galatasaray in Turkey (2010), and Racing Santander in Spain (2011). He played in 16 league matches for Racing last season, one fewer than he has played during his Tottenham career.
Dos Santos’s commitment to his career was questioned multiple times by then-manager Harry Redknapp and club chairman Daniel Levy. There were hopes for a revival under new Tottenham leader Andres Villas-Boas; dos Santos has appeared in 59 matches for the Mexican national club and was impressive with the gold-medal-winning Mexican team at the Olympics, so it would have seemed logical to get him on the field. Those hopes appeared to be dashed Saturday when dos Santos was not included in the Spurs’ opening-day lineup.
A transfer, to Sevilla or anywhere he could get a starting role, would benefit both dos Santos and Tottenham. Spurs will get a little money, certainly not as much as if he had been playing full-time for them, and dos Santos will finally be freed of what hopefully will be the low point of his career.