This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Earlier this week, Turkish media outlet Sabah reported that Tottenham Hotspur scouted striker Vedat Muriqi in Kosovo’s 2-1 win against the Czech Republic at the weekend, so one would presume they took advantage of the chance to do the same when he came up against England at St Mary’s on Tuesday.
A goal against the Czechs followed on from two goals in three Super Lig appearances for new employers Fenerbahce – form which already appears to have gained admiring glances from elsewhere, including Spurs.
If scouts from the north London outfit were watching on, it wouldn’t have taken them long to have something to write down in their notepads, when the 25-year-old provided the assist for Valon Berisha’s goal just 36 seconds in.
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That pass set the tone for the 6 foot 4 attacker, and he continued to impress throughout the encounter in the final third, even if the defending by his teammates left a lot to be desired with the visitors finding themselves 5-1 down at the break.
Muriqi certainly wasn’t down and out at that point though, and having set up Berisha again, he then won a penalty following a tackle in the area by Harry Maguire, before picking himself up to convert the spot-kick past Jordan Pickford.
As well as his generally smart centre-forward play, he also won six out of the eight duels he faced on the night, and successfully completed both of the dribbles he attempted, as per SofaScore.
The great thing about the 25-year-old is that based on this display, there is far more to his game than simply being a goalscorer, and he is clearly a creator who is aware of what is going on around him, too – as shown by the three key passes he made.
If Tottenham are looking for a back-up striker for Harry Kane either in the New Year or next summer following the departures of Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente during the summer, this was certainly a positive dress rehearsal from Muriqi.
He contributed more than the England captain did at St Mary’s in terms of goals, and he scored from the penalty spot unlike the 26-year-old as he ended the game with a higher rating than his opponent, as per SofaScore.
It might be time to dust that chequebook off again, Daniel Levy.