As the full-time whistle reverberated around Wembley on Saturday evening, amid the contrasting emotions between those clad in white and those in claret, a potential signing was seemingly crossed off Tottenham’s summer shopping list. On the pitch, it was Slaviša Jokanović’s swashbuckling Fulham side who triumphed over Aston Villa, earning promotion to the Premier League by getting their hands on the play-off trophy. Talking of hands, The Cottagers final win also fortified their unyielding grip on young starlet, and Tottenham transfer target, Ryan Sessegnon. There’s been an understanding that if Fulham had failed to gain promotion on Saturday, a deal for the recently-turned 18-year-old would have been “easier” for Spurs to finalise. Now though, with Fulham a Premier League side – and Sessegnon a Premier League player – any chance of luring Gareth Bale 2.0 north of London will cost upward of £50m. (A hefty dent to Pochettino’s £150m war chest.) But could a play-off defeat still work to our advantage? Instead of exploiting Fulham’s anticipated misfortune, there’s no reason why Spurs can’t cash in on the team ruing loss in the “£160m final”. Of course, I’m talking Aston Villa. But the player? Jack Grealish. The 22-year-old Villain has had a superb campaign at his boyhood club, with many prognosticating that a move to a top six team is a certitude in the near future. Manchester United have been linked in the past few days, and it finally seems as though Grealish is coming good on the promising potential assigned to him as a juvenile. Boasting the versatility to play anywhere across the three behind the striker, as well as the aptitude to drop deeper into the midfield, Grealish has a distinguished flair that this Spurs side is currently lacking. Nottingham Forest stalwart John Robertson hailed the youngster’s “ability to just ghost past people”, while former Tottenham *favourite Tim Sherwood – no stranger at developing homegrown talent himself – likened Grealish to a young Joe Cole. The potential price of the player is also a factor. The play-off defeat is predicted to come at a (literal) cost for Aston Villa, with the Midlands club having to generate around £40m-£45m from player sales and wage cuts this summer to fall in line with Financial Fair Play. Villa owner Tony Xia reluctantly admitted this post-Wembley: “Under the current circumstances, I think the club needs to rethink not only the past two years but also the past ten years. Villa needs to be a sustainable football club. People join. People leave.” Grealish, then, would command a lesser fee than that of Sessegnon – not to mention another Pochettino target: Wilfried Zaha. Parallel to Sessegnon’s price tag, the Palace winger is rumoured to be on the market for around the £50m mark, with bloated wage demands to boot. Those with sources close to club assert that Pochettino is enamoured with Zaha. And, of course, this manager has more than earned the right to acquire players of his choosing. But at £50m? That’s a third of Spurs’s rumoured transfer budget, leaving us with less room to manoeuvre on future deals, as well as gaping holes still to be addressed. Instead of Zaha (and Sessegnon), Grealish would therefore provide an economical – and just as effective – alternative. Naturally, it’s hard for us fans to get excited over a player who plies his trade in the Championship, but there’s no denying that there’s untapped potential in Grealish that Pochettino can most definitely unlock. I also recall a time when the return of Alex Pritchard to Spurs was highly anticipated following a successful loan spell at Championship side Brentford. Although Grealish might not generate the same levels of excitement, he will undoubtedly provide us with more bang for our buck than his contemporaries. A key factor in a market where it pays to be smart.