Tottenham Hotspur have a “sizeable” budget with which to sign a defender in January, should they so wish, per Sky Sports.
The report claims that Spurs are interested in signing Issa Diop from West Ham United, along with Nathan Ake from Bournemouth.
The latter comes with complications, however. Several reports have claimed that Chelsea, his former club, have a £40m buy-back clause that they are able to exercise in January, meaning Spurs would have to clear significant hurdles to lure the defender to London.
It is perhaps more likely – though still not guaranteed given the London rivalry – that Spurs would be able to acquire Diop’s signature, then, but is he good enough?
He has made 15 Premier League appearances this term and the statistics paint an enlightening picture.
Per WhoScored, he makes 1.2 tackles per game on average, 1.5 interceptions and 3.7 clearances, along with 1.1 fouls.
Offensively, his stats are something of nothing but, after all, he’s a centre-back. Passing-wise, he averages a completion rate of 82.3%.
How does that stack up?
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Spurs’ three senior centre-backs are Davinson Sanchez, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
The Colombia international averages more tackles (1.7), fewer interceptions (1.1) and more clearances (3.9), while he also ships fewer fouls (0.9).
Alderweireld also makes more tackles (1.3) and fewer interceptions (1.1), while he makes more clearances (4.4) and concedes far fewer fouls (0.5).
Vertonghen is different in that he has more tackles (2.4) and interceptions (1.7), while he has fewer clearances (2.8) and just 0.2 fouls.
All three defenders have a higher pass completion rate than Diop.
One feels that the West Ham man could potentially slot right into Jose Mourinho’s backline with little trouble but the fact remains that he simply isn’t better than any of the current defenders in north London.
One has to think Spurs should steer clear.
Meanwhile, one Spurs man has promised there is more to come from him.