Earlier this week, Tottenham Hotspur were linked with a potential swoop for Borussia Monchengladbach and emerging Germany star Florian Neuhaus.
According to Sport1, the north London outfit are one of several elite teams keeping tabs on the 23-year-old sensation as he continues to make waves in the Bundesliga.
From the summer, he’s set to be available for just €40m (£36m), as per the report, while CIES Football Observatory currently value him around €10m (£8.8m) more at €50m (£45m).
Indeed, the 6-foot midfielder has enjoyed quite the breakthrough in the past 18 months, but what would he bring to Spurs?
Unlike much of Jose Mourinho’s engine room options, Neuhaus is a pure box-to-box enforcer who is capable of consistently having a major influence at either end of the pitch.
This is something that just simply isn’t among the current Spurs squad and hasn’t been for quite some time. Therefore, a swoop for him this year would give the perennial underachievers something brand new.
According to The Sunday Times’ Duncan Castles, the Portuguese manager is chasing a box-to-box midfielder, so perhaps links to Neuhaus shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, though they will need to beat the likes of Bayern, Dortmund and Real Madrid to his signature.
Tanguy Ndombele is finally starting to show why Daniel Levy splashed a club-record £55m to secure him last year, he’s already contributed to four goals in 14 appearances at the half-way stage of the season, matching his returns from last season while he’s seen progression in dribbling, shooting and tackling numbers, per WhoScored.
All key facets to a box-to-box maestro. The Frenchman certainly seems to be filling that role for the time being, but that’s going to starve his attacking returns in the long run – after all, he delivered three goals and seven assists in his final season at Lyon.
Moussa Sissoko is far from filling that role, averaging a paltry 0.1 key passes and 0.7 dribbles per game, and Giovani Lo Celso’s recent absence through injury will make it hard for him to emerge back into the starting XI.
Neuhaus eclipses all of these options.
Across the Bundesliga and Champions League this term, the three-time international has averaged 1.8 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game, showing his imperious presence and off-the-ball tendencies as well as also managing an average of 1.5 shots, 0.9 dribbles and 0.8 key passes per game, meaning he’s bustling up the pitch to contribute in the final third.
He also covered 7.4 miles of pitch per Bundesliga game in 2019/20. Industrious would be one word to describe it.
By comparison via Sky Sports, Sissoko managed a total of 196.36 kilometres, which is an average of 4.3 miles covered per game with Ndombele recording a total of 108.3 kilometres at an average of 3.2 miles per match, though he was restricted to only 12 starts.
Similarly, Neuhaus’ head coach Marco Rose lauded him an “exceptional talent” who has “the potential to become an even better player” earlier this season, echoing thoughts of Talent Scout Jacek Kulig, who dubbed him the “complete midfielder.”
The German monster claims he has taken inspiration from and idolises former Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil, when asked about childhood idols, he said, via Bundesliga.com: “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.”
If Spurs want that different threat from midfield, then Levy should absolutely sanction a move for Neuhaus, whether that be now or in the summer. As evident above, he’s a completely new dimension and one that would certainly bolster Mourinho’s midfield armoury.