Despite confirmation that Jan Vertonghen has signed a contract extension that will see him still be a Tottenham player until the remainder of this season, it looks likely that the Belgium international will eventually be heading for the exit door this summer.
Reports in recent days have suggested that a few Serie A sides, including the likes of AS Roma, Inter and Napoli, are all interested in signing Vertonghen on a free, and so Spurs will surely be in the market for a replacement for the veteran centre-back.
And according to German publication, Bild, Jose Mourinho’s side have set their sights on Freiburg defender Robin Koch, with Juan Foyth also expected to leave the Lilywhites once the campaign is over.
The report adds that Koch has already informed his club that he will not be signing a new contract with them, and that could see Spurs pounce this summer.
And when you look at the kind of performances he has put in for Freiburg, it’s clear to see why Koch’s arrival could wave goodbye to Foyth, and also usher in a promising post-Vertonghen era too.
Described as a “warrior” by the Bundesliga side’s head coach, Christian Streich, the 6 foot 3 powerhouse is a defensive machine, who reads the game superbly.
As per Whoscored, he averages 1.1 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game this season, whilst according to Sofascore, he has a very impressive duel success rate of 60% (he wins a total of 5.6 duels per match).
Vertonghen’s numbers are eerily similar to that of Koch, registering 1.6 interceptions and 5.8 duels won per game in the Premier League. But at 23, the latter of course is a decade younger than his Spurs counterpart, and could well be the long-term successor to the Belgian centre-back in north London.
And after Foyth’s agent opened the door for an exit by revealing his client is good enough to play for Inter, Koch’s arrival would surely be the final nail in the coffin for the Mauricio Pochettino signing, and allow him to finally leave the club this summer.
Bringing in Koch would serve two important purposes for Mourinho. Paving the way for Foyth to leave, and ensuring a ready-made replacement for Vertonghen’s potential exit too.