Tottenham were looking to bolster their frontline this summer, unfortunately for the club they did not manage to bring one in this time around. Harry Redknapp will still be targeting one however, and the latest candidate to have caught his eye is a player that has been widely dubbed as ‘the new Adebayor’. His name is Peniel Mlapa, of Togolese birth, hence the comparison to Adebayor, but a German youth international, he plays for up and coming Bundesliga side, TSG Hoffenheim. Mlapa is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in German football, but who is exactly is this new Spurs target?
Peniel Mlapa is 19 years old and 6ft 4, and he is not exactly a beanpole either. Mlapa’s size and strength is his main attribute, and as he gets older this is an attribute that will only increase. IM Scouting describe Mlapa as also having great technical skills as well, stating,
“Far from lacking technique, Mlapa’s height does not restrict his game at all. He has a good touch and is a real threat in the box. His aerial ability is an obvious danger to defences, but Mlapa also possesses a very powerful shot particularly on his right foot.”
Although he has been compared to Emmanuel Adebayor, his mentality is reported as being far better, as Mlapa is a determined, grounded and dedicated professional, something you could not say is always applicable to his idol Adebayor. If Tottenham did sign Mlapa, they would be hoping he could make the same kind of impact that the almost unstoppable Didier Drogba has made.
Before signing for Hoffenheim, Peniel Mlapa played for German second tier side 1860 Munich, where he became a regular in the side, scoring a respectable 6 goals in 23 games. Mlapa’s good form for the club was rewarded when he won the German Young Player of the Year award, not an achievement to be sniffed at when one considers the amount of young talent that is around in Germany at the moment.
In the summer, Bundesliga side TSG Hoffenheim signed Mlapa, and he scored on his debut against in an 4-1 win over powerhouses Werder Bremen. Although it is early days, Mlapa seems to have made the step up a level nicely and at the age of just 19, there will be plenty more to come from the big striker.
Tottenham are apparently not the only Premier League club interested in Mlapa, Everton are also reportedly tracking him. Tottenham’s greater financial power and their greater success in recent years, should put them in the box seat however should both clubs interest result in tangible offers. Spurs already have four good strikers on their books however, and if the club are to push on you would imagine they would need a truly top class striker such as Luis Fabiano, rather than a still largely unproven youngster. If though Spurs were to let go of say Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko, there would be two spaces available, and Mlapa could well be the ideal candidate to fill one of those spots.
Peniel Mlapa has only just started his TSG Hoffenheim career, so any move this season is unlikely to come to fruition. Harry Redknapp will certainly be keeping tabs on the player though, and it will be interesting to see how he performs in his first season in the Bundesliga. If fulfills his potential, it might just be a signing Redknapp cannot resist making.