Tottenham Hotspur and Fabio Paratici enjoyed a spectacular summer transfer window, with the Italian sporting director landing a number of impressive signings who should undoubtedly improve Antonio Conte’s squad.
Indeed, with Spurs welcoming the likes of Richarlison, Yves Bissouma, Djed Spence, Ivan Perisic, Clement Lenglet and Fraser Forster to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium prior to the transfer deadline on September 1, Conte now boasts squad depth that he infamously claimed he was lacking over the course of the club’s 2021/22 campaign.
However, while Paratici very much looks to have done a stellar job in the transfer market, there was nevertheless one position that Conte was reported to be extremely keen on strengthening where the 50-year-old sporting director failed to bring in a fresh face – that of a new attacking midfielder.
Despite being heavily linked with moves for a number of players in that position, there was one target in particular who would have undoubtedly been a magnificent signing for Paratici to land – Lazio sensation Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Indeed, the 27-year-old has been a continual attacking threat in the heart of the Lazio team over the past eight seasons, scoring 48 goals and registering 44 assists over his 236 Serie A appearances for the club.
The £63m-rated talent was in particularly fine form over his 36 league outings in 2021/22, scoring 11 goals and registering 11 assists in the Italian top flight. The Serbian’s returns were more than Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp, Harry Winks, Rodrigo Bentancur, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso managed between them in the Premier League last time out.
Furthermore, as per FBref, the £98k-per-week sensation also ranks in the top 5% of midfielders among Europe’s big five leagues for non-penalty goals per 90, in addition to the top 2% for assists, the top 13% for shot-creating actions, the top 12% for passes attempted and the top 14% for dribbles completed over the last 365 days – proving his all-round forward-thinking ability from central midfield.
As such, with Conte clearly lacking a midfielder in Milinkovic-Savic’s mould, the fact that Paratici did not pull the trigger on a £38m bid for the player who Hesham Bilal dubbed “insane” and David Amoyal labelled “unreal” this summer appears something of a shocker by the Italian.
It seems evident that the Serbian would have solved Conte’s biggest – and perhaps only – issue in his Spurs side at present.