Opinion: Analysing whether Pedro Porro is worth £40m to Tottenham

It’s no secret that Tottenham need to address the right wing-back position.

Emerson Royal has, to put it politely, struggled to make an impact down that side. While Matt Doherty has impressed at times, most recently in the 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace, but has suffered with injuries and is perhaps not at the elite level Antonio Conte would desire.

The latest name linked is Sporting’s Pedro Porro, formerly of Manchester City. With a rumoured release fee of around £40 million, it will prove a significant January purchase if Tottenham get it over the line. But is he worth the money?

Many Tottenham fans will have seen Porro feature against Spurs this season in the Champions League. If you didn’t then there are many videos across YouTube showcasing what Porro is about.

It’s easy to see when looking at Porro why he seems a good fit for Conte’s system, with the wing-back often acting more like a winger. Porro compares quite well to Perisic in terms of attempted crosses, in 11 matches so far Porro has attempted 79, while Perisic has attempted 101 in 17 (pre-Crystal Palace).

Compare that with Emerson Royal who has just 34 attempts in 13 matches and Doherty’s 48 in 10 and you realise just how one-sided Tottenham’s attack is.

Now, of course, playing in the Portuguese league won’t compare to the Premier League and there are many factors to consider if Porro is to make the move, will he adapt? Why did City not fancy him? The list goes on.

With five assists in Portugal this year though, the same number Perisic has in the Premier League, getting Porro in would hopefully add a balance to Tottenham’s attack while adding more quality and directness down the right-hand side. Porro has averaged 3.25 shots per 90 for Sporting in the Portuguese league this year and an impressive 2.69 key passes per 90.

If you look across any scouting report online for Porro they all have the same under ‘weaknesses’, aerial duels. At 5 foot 7, he’s perhaps on the smaller side, particularly when you consider Conte’s desire for taller more physical players. An area in which Porro finds himself in the lower percentile in his fbref scouting report is defensively.

As mentioned, Conte’s wing-backs operate more like wingers, so perhaps defensively Porro doesn’t need to be as strong, but with many Spurs fans calling for one or two new centre-backs, it does cause worry that with Porro more attack-minded than Doherty or Emerson it could leave the three centre-backs more exposed.

A perhaps smaller issue outside of Porro is the lack of interest in the current Tottenham wing-backs, if Porro did come in Spurs would be left with four wing-backs fighting for one spot.

Overall Porro offers obvious attacking qualities that would add a dynamic down the right that has been perhaps lacking this season, there are causes for concerns defensively but with the right additions it would hopefully lead to Tottenham being a more balanced outfit down both sides rather than just the one.

The simple answer to the question posed is – Yes. Porro would be an immediate improvement on both Emerson and Doherty, particularly on the attacking front.

£40 million is a big expense and to get the best out of him Tottenham would probably need a centre-back or two, he’s still probably the most viable option in a position where options are limited otherwise.

Whether the board get it done is another question entirely.

Pedro Porro
(Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

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