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Opinion: Five defensive midfielders who could finally replace Mousa Dembele for Spurs

Since Spurs sold Moussa Dembele, they have lacked a midfielder that holds the ball and breaks up attacks just as effectively. Wanyama is gone, Ndombele has been disappointing, and Winks and Skipp are more possession players. Spurs need the perfect all-rounder to slot in and finally fill the void left by Mousa. So, let’s take a look at five men who could do just that:

Blaise Matuidi – Juventus

The French World Cup winner has got serious competition at Juve with six other central midfielders vying for three positions at most. At the age of 32, he would be a short-term measure but this would give Skipp the opportunity to develop without having to be the main defensive midfielder in the squad. Valued at £11.7million (Transfermarkt) and with his contract expiring next summer, Matuidi may not be too expensive.

Ruben Neves – Wolves

The former Porto captain has been excellent in midfield for Wolves these past two seasons and may now want to move to a bigger club. He is only 23-years-old and comes from a country in which Jose Mourinho is one of the most famous figures. He is valued at £45million (TransferMarkt) but would be a worthwhile investment as his peak years are still ahead of him. Neves is also a set-piece specialist, which would be an added benefit.

Kalvin Phillips – Leeds

Phillips is currently forging a big reputation for himself in the Championship and there was even talk of an England call-up earlier this season from some admirers (The Sun). It is yet to be seen whether he can cut it at the highest level in English football but he represents a worthwhile gamble, while also adding to the homegrown numbers. Valued at £13.5milllion (Transfermarkt), he is relatively cheap and, at 24 years old, is fast approaching his peak years.

Wilmar Barrios – Zenit

He is now plying his trade in Zenit and has slotted in as a regular in Russia, however, he has only played in the Argentinian and Russian leagues. Therefore, there is no guarantee that he could cut it in such a physical, high-quality, and fast-pace league such as the Premier League. His lack of experience makes him a big gamble, but he is only rated at £18million (Transfermarkt) so is a cheaper option.

Geoffrey Kondogbia – Valencia

Currently being linked with Spurs ahead of the summer window (Sky Sports), Kondogbia is 27-years -old, experienced, and at his peak. He is valued at £25.2million (Transfermarkt), which is not too high a price to pay for someone of his class. He is a player who excels at interceptions, tackling, and blocking, all of which are skills needed to be an effective defensive midfielder. He has also played in several of the biggest European leagues for Inter Milan, Valencia, and Monaco. He may want a new challenge and Spurs would definitely offer him that.

Spurs Web Opinion:

If Spurs could only sign one player, I would want Ruben Neves. However, I realise that this would cost a lot of money, likely £50 million at least. If this money was not available, I would like to see Spurs try to sign Matuidi. He is a World Cup winner and may want to join a team with so many Frenchmen already within the ranks.

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