Tottenham Hotspur could be in need of midfield reinforcements soon, and their attentions have reportedly turned to a new name this week…
According to Sport1, Spurs are eyeing a move for Borussia Monchengladbach maestro Florian Neuhaus, even though he is under contract until 2024 and they would face competition for his signature from clubs across Europe.
The 23-year-old is said to have a release clause in the region of €40m (£36m) that can be activated during the summer transfer window.
Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and La Liga giants Real Madrid are all mentioned as clubs with interest in Neuhaus.
Dele Alli’s future in north London remains unclear going into the final week of the January transfer window.
It is thought that Spurs could allow him to leave amid interest from Mauricio Pochettino and Paris Saint-Germain should they find a suitable replacement, according to the Guardian’s Dave Hytner.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein also claimed on Monday that the decision rests firmly in the hands of Daniel Levy as Jose Mourinho has no objections over letting the 24-year-old depart.
In Neuhaus, Levy could find an ideal replacement – one that is fit for Mourinho’s current Spurs system.
The Sunday Times’ Duncan Castles told us that the ‘Special One’ is after a box-to-box midfielder this month, presumably to partner Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele in the middle. That is something that Alli is not.
As seen by his returns this campaign, the three-time German international has been effective at both ends of the pitch.
In 17 league appearances, he has delivered three goals and four assists, also providing 1.7 shots per game, meaning he fires an attempt at goal more times per fame than every Spurs regular other than Harry Kane and Heung-min Son.
Intriguingly, he does a lot of defensive and off-the-ball work too – as per WhoScored, Neuhaus has averaged 1.5 tackles per game, which is more than Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Alli and also suggests he’s a strong and imperious presence in the middle.
The 23-year-old also chips in with 1.8 interceptions per match, hinting towards his ability to read the game immensely as he’s cutting out the opposition’s passes and attacks with relative ease, managing at least one stop every 43 minutes, per WhoScored.
Again, by comparison, no Spurs player has managed more – not even Hojbjerg (1.2 interceptions per game).
As we know, Mourinho isn’t a fan of Alli’s work-rate, dubbing him “lazy” in more colourful terms during Amazon’s ‘All or Nothing’ docuseries last season and evidently, Neuhaus is a stark contrast to that as above.
Even more interestingly, the Gladbach star has been compared to Thomas Muller, only adding to the prospects of him filling Alli’s void. The ‘Raumdeuter’ is said to have a ‘distinct ability to find spaces between the lines.’
Whilst early childhood influence from Mesut Ozil and Toni Kroos adds even further weight to his ability in attack, he said: “My uncle was a Bremen fan, I had a Bremen poster on my wall of Mesut Özil. I love watching Özil and Toni Kroos play.”
During Gladbach’s Champions League tie with Inter Milan earlier this season, the midfielder played a sublime through ball across half the pitch to cut open Christian Eriksen’s side and bag a late winner at the San Siro – the Dane would’ve been proud of that himself.
Neuhaus’ former boss Dieter Hecking claimed two years ago that he was a player with “huge potential” and clearly, we’re finally seeing that come to light with so many illustrious teams chasing his signature.
Indeed, Talent Scout Jacek Kulig dubbed him a “complete midfielder” who will be a “top-class player for many years to come.”
There’s surely not a better replacement out there than Neuhaus.
If Levy is worried about losing Alli, then he should absolutely consider a move for the German beast, now valued at €50m (£45m) this month, instead of waiting for a summer transfer tussle.
AND in other news, Forget Ndombele: £45m-rated monster was Spurs’ true game-changer vs Wycombe…