Tottenham Hotspur have been offered the chance to sign Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona.
Sources have confirmed that Spurs have been approached about the possibility of bringing the World Cup winner into the club and that his name is being considered as a potential acquisition.
Jose Mourinho, indeed, is hopeful of signing a central defender this month.
The big fat Tottenham quiz of 2019 – how much do you remember about the last year at Spurs?
But what exactly would Umtiti bring to the club?
The Barca ace has struggled somewhat for game time this season at Camp Nou and has made a total of five appearances in La Liga.
That has been as a result of various injury issues – he has struggled with injuries to both his foot and his knee this term – and he has also been rotated in and out of the team. He was on the bench against RCD Mallorca, Real Sociedad and Real Madrid, for example, despite being fit.
However, whenever he has played in the league – he completed the 90 minutes against Eibar, Celta Vigo, Leganes and Alaves, while making a seven-minute cameo against Atletico Madrid – Barca have won. They have conceded just three goals in those games.
Per WhoScored, Umtiti averages 0.6 tackles per game in La Liga, 1.8 interceptions, 1.6 fouls, 4.4 clearances and is dribbled past on just 0.4 occasions.
He also averages 0.8 dribbles per game and is a remarkably effective distributor of the ball, averaging 51 passes per game at an accuracy of 90.6%.
Now, of course, these statistics have to be taken with a couple of notable caveats. One is his injury history and his inability to remain fit – since the beginning of last season, he has missed 38 games, equivalent to a full Premier League season – coupled with his standing as a defender playing for an exceptionally talented Barca team could make the numbers slightly misleading.
Indeed, Barca average 61.1% of the ball in La Liga and are rarely on the back foot, although their defensive record this season is not the best; they have conceded 23 goals in 19 games, compared to the 12 conceded by both Real and Atletico Madrid.
However, Umtiti is clearly an elite-level defender with a remarkable penchant for keeping possession for his side.
It remains to be seen if he would be able to instantly adapt to Premier League football, especially given that Spurs average 52.3% of the ball, but he would bring with him a particularly appealing skill-set.
Meanwhile, another club have entered the race to sign Christian Eriksen…