Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with a move for Benfica defender Ruben Dias, but what would he bring to the side?
The Portugal international was listed as one of several prospective Jose Mourinho targets ahead of what could be a transformative summer window for Spurs’ defence.
The Daily Express reports that Spurs could be set to spend £120m on potential acquisitions, with Dias specifically name-checked.
While he has an £80m release clause in his contract, he is represented by Jorge Mendes, the agent who also looks after Mourinho.
That could smooth the path to any deal but how good is he?
Per WhoScored, Dias has made 20 appearances in the league this season. Benfica are currently four points clear of Porto at the top of Liga NOS.
In those games, he has scored twice and also managed to register one assist.
In addition to that, he averages 1.2 tackles per game, 1 interception, 0.7 fouls, 3 clearances, and 0.5 blocks.
He also averages 0.5 key passes per game and 0.5 shots, while boasting a passing accuracy of 89.3%, and attempting 5.4 long balls per game.
Spurs like to play out from the back and Toby Alderweireld has long been key to that gameplan; his long, raking balls from defence often transition the team into attacking situations in an instant.
Dias does similar with his distribution of the ball and it is instructive that he is so accurate with it.
Benfica are, of course, a giant of Portuguese football and are expected to win most of the games they play; they have conceded just 11 goals this season.
So while his defensive stats are predictably solid, it is his distribution that really catches the eye and bringing him in would be adding a player with a quarterback’s ability to the backline.
If Mourinho is looking to the future, he could partner the 22-year-old with Davinson Sanchez, who is one year older. In that partnership, it would be Dias playing the Alderweireld role.
It could work perfectly, but he is unlikely to come cheap.