It’s looking increasingly likely that Spurs will bolster the squad this month or in the summer, with the striker position in desperate need of strengthening.
While Dušan Vlahović remains the player most fans are likely hoping makes the move to North London, it remains to be seen whether Spurs would be able to pull off such an ambitious signing.
However, with more and more names being linked with Spurs each day, it seems as if Paratici has got a number of alternative targets to the in-demand Serbian, including Sassuolo forward Gianluca Scamacca.
At 23-years-old, he has already featured for the Italian national team twice, and has netted eight Serie A goals despite having started just ten times (20 appearances total).
Suited to both of Conte’s formations
Conte’s favoured set-up has been the 3-5-2 in recent years, which has worked at Juventus, Italy and Inter Milan, but due to the squad he has inherited since becoming Head Coach at Spurs, he has been forced to play with inverted wingers for the majority of his tenure so far in a 3-4-3 system.
With Harry Kane expected to start alongside Heung-min Son in a two-striker formation, it wouldn’t make sense to bring in Vlahović for a big fee just for him to sit on the bench and be a cup game player – unless one of the two star players was sold in the same transfer window.
Scamacca on the other hand is a player who will likely not kick up too much of a fuss if he was used as a rotation option, having come off the bench in nine of the 19 league appearances he has made for his club so far this season.
Furthermore, he possesses all the attributes to play alongside Son or Kane should one of the forwards get injured – but in the likely scenario that a solo striker was deployed in-between wingers in cup games to rest key players, the Sassuolo man would be even more suited to that role.
The 23-year-old’s ability to hold the ball up, turn and play a through-ball in-between the lines of defence or make a key pass in an attacking transition would benefit the likes of Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura and Bryan Gil, who like to get in behind the last defender and square to their opposite winger or take on the shot themselves.
Despite his size and stature, he is also a competent dribbler of the ball, utilising his strength and excellent ball control often enough to break into the top 25 Serie A players for dribbles completed this season so far, with a dribble success of 72.7%.
Should he be called upon to play alongside a strike-partner, Scamacca’s mobility and positioning would cause any Premier League defence issues, as he likes to draw away defenders particularly when the ball is out wide, but is also capable of making decoy runs to create space for a shot.
This would make him an important weapon for Conte to have at Spurs, particularly when faced up against bottom-half defences that tend to sit deep and soak up pressure, or in situations where the team need to try something different and go more direct in search of a goal.
Heavy competition from Juventus
Should Paratici press ahead and attempt to lure Scamacca to North London instead of Vlahović, he may have to fend off Italian giants Juventus, who will be looking to replace Álvaro Morata should the former Chelsea striker complete a move to Barcelona this month.
However, with Sassuolo wanting around €40 million, it is unlikely that the Turin based club will be able to compete with Spurs on a financial level, and they will reportedly not engage in a bidding war for the striker.
While most fans in the UK would unanimously agree that Vlahović is better than Scamacca in terms of ability right now, former Juventus midfielder Massimo Mauro actually rates the Italian higher than the Serbian.
He said: “I would bet right now on a young player who is already able to take responsibility.
“Like Scamacca, who for me is better than Vlahović. He’s physically big, has an excellent ability to progress play and is very good in counter-attacks. I think he’s perfect for [Massimiliano] Allegri’s Juventus.
“Of course, the big unknown is the weight of the shirt, especially in such a particular year. Scamacca has so far played with Genoa and Sassuolo, it is not the same thing, I would be curious to see him at Juventus.”
As someone who is a huge fan of Vlahović, it pains me to say that I genuinely believe from a situational and tactical viewpoint, the signing of Scamacca is not only more likely, but makes more sense given that it’s unlikely the Fiorentina star would start alongside Son and Kane.
Should Manchester City reignite interest in the England captain, then I would most likely change my mind, but signing Scamacca would not only solve the striker depth problem, but also save funds for additional signings elsewhere on the pitch.
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