This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to The Daily Star, Tottenham Hotspur are targeting January moves for Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala and Nice’s Youcef Atal, but if they get them they would be making an unforgivable transfer blunder.
Well, The Daily Star says that manager Mauricio Pochettino is ready to talk with chairman Daniel Levy about a major January shake-up in north London, with Eric Dier, Serge Aurier and Victor Wanyama among those at risk, while they are ready to listen to offers for Christian Eriksen.
The same report states that Pochettino is pushing for the north London outfit to renew their interest in Dybala after a summer move fell through due to image rights issues, and Atal.
However, they would be making a mistake if they did get the duo.
Firstly, it has been clear to see that Tottenham’s biggest issue this season has been their failure to keep the ball out of their own net, conceding 12 times in eight Premier League fixtures and nine times in two Champions League matches.
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That includes 10 in the last two against Brighton and Hove Albion and Bayern Munich, where a lack of a quality defensive midfielder protecting the defence and below-par performances from the backline have often left Spurs in trouble.
You may think that signing Atal, whose main position is listed as a right-back by Transfermarkt, would potentially solve one of those issues with Serge Aurier seen as a liability by fans, but in fact he has actually mainly been playing as either a right wing-back or right winger for Nice so far this term, according to his positions in those games recorded by Transfermarkt.
That indicates his manager Patrick Vieira doesn’t believe he is the out-and-out good defender and suggests he isn’t the reliable player the north London club look to be in desperate need of. In that regard he could be similar to the Ivory Coast international, who shone from an attacking sense against Crystal Palace but was sent off for two bookings in the first half against Southampton.
Meanwhile, while it would be difficult to say that Tottenham need Dybala when they already have Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Erik Lamela, Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso and Lucas Moura in the attacking positions, perhaps most worrying of all would be his attitude.
The Argentina international has come out and suggested he never wanted to join Tottenham in the summer according to Corriere della Sera, via The Daily Mail, and having him in their ranks would be the last thing they need when they are already dealing with someone like Christian Eriksen, who also appears intent on going as his contract runs down.
It would be unforgivable if they get both players then, and they really must avoid them instead if they really want to start turning things around for the better from the New Year onwards.