It’s no secret that Tottenham need to refresh and improve at centre-back. With Fabio Paratici in charge as managing director of football, it’s sure to be a whirlwind summer for Spurs fans.
Paratici is known for often negotiating with multiple targets at once which means it’s going to be a constant rumour mill and a very long summer of targets and potential signings for us fans.
So far there have been four names crop up in the centre-back department, and this piece will look at the strengths and weaknesses of those players.
Maxence Lacroix – Wolfsburg (21) French
At 6 foot 3, Lacroix has that imposing figure you’d expect from a centre-half, however, one of his biggest attributes is his speed and his ability to cover ground quickly, a quality trait for any central defender to have.
One notable thing when watching highlights of Maxence is his calmness and composure when making a tackle, very rarely does he appear to make sliding challenges or dive in unnecessarily, with his timing of the tackle seemingly good.
Ability on the ball has been key for Tottenham in recent years for centre-backs and Lacroix seems to tick that box too, 84% pass completion over the course of last season helped Wolfsburg secure a fourth-placed finish and Champions League football last season.
Jules Kounde – Sevilla (22) French
One of the hottest prospects around in the world of football at the minute. Kounde is the star of the bunch that Spurs have been linked to recently, in my opinion.
At just 5 foot 10, Kounde isn’t as much of an imposing figure as the others linked, but it’s his ability on the ball that makes him stand out from the rest.
Boasting over 90% pass completion with Sevilla last season, it’s no surprise the Frenchman is being touted as one of the big transfers this summer.
Cristian Romero – Atalanta (23) Argentine
Having played in an Atalanta team that has made waves in not just Italy but across Europe last season, it’s no surprise that Romero is being linked with both Tottenham and Manchester United.
There is a complication with Romero being that he’s on loan from Juventus, and it appears Atalanta may activate a £13.6 million release clause in order to cash in on the defender.
Having featured 3 times in the Copa America, including the 1-0 final victory over Brazil, Romero has seen his stock skyrocket after such an impressive season.
The biggest attribute Romero possesses is his positional awareness, consistently finding himself in the right place, a trait that is every coach’s dream. It’s also worth pointing out that Romero is another ball-playing defender, with over 90% pass success last season.
Milan Skriniar – Inter (26) Slovakian
A man forever linked with Tottenham it feels like. Coming off the back of a Serie A title with Inter, Skriniar is another fantastic ball-playing defender, with over 92% pass completion last season.
One of the older of the names linked with Tottenham, although he could’ve been 20 when Spurs were first linked it’s been that long. Skriniar perhaps offers a certain level more of experience and maturity than the others and Paratici’s influence in Italy could be a real deciding factor in this transfer.
Jannik Vestergaard – Southampton (28) Danish
In a different phase of his career in comparison to some of the others. Vestergaard is an established Premier League player, a giant at the back towering at 6 foot 5. Vestergaard would interestingly make an excellent partner to someone like Jules Kounde.
An excellent showing at the Euros this summer may see his price rise and that could be enough to deter Spurs from making a move. On the other hand, as a player with Premier League experience already Tottenham may see the Dane as the best fit.
Final thoughts –
I’m sure there will be plenty more names linked and plenty more drama to come over the summer, but one thing is for sure, the names linked give the impression that Tottenham are looking for a defender extremely comfortable on the ball.
With success in the signings of Alderweireld and Vertonghen in recent years, it’s clear to see why Tottenham are taking this approach.
Fingers crossed Tottenham can get the right additions in so we can move away from some of the more calamitous signings in recent years.
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