Tottenham Hotspur could be about to reignite their interest in one of their reported summer transfer targets…
According to The Mirror, Spurs are weighing up a bid for highly-rated South Korean centre-back Kim Min-jae this month amid growing concerns that Premier League rivals Chelsea could do the same.
It’s claimed that the north Londoners were keen on the 24-year-old several months ago following the departure of Jan Vertonghen to Benfica on a free transfer.
Now they are plotting a fresh move for the Beijing Guoan man, and here’s why that’s a smart decision to make.
It is no secret that Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is keen on another central defender in the current window. Duncan Castles revealed that a pacey option was atop his priorities in January.
The 6 foot 3 colossus has emerged as a potential star in Asia – nicknamed “the monster”, Min-jae has picked up 30 caps at international level and in 43 appearances across the past two seasons is averaging 3.1 clearances, 1.3 interceptions and 1.1 tackles per game, via WhoScored.
By comparison, he is intercepting the opposition more times than either Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez or Toby Alderweireld, and exceeds the Englishman’s 0.4 tackles per game substantially, also per WhoScored.
Whilst he’s unlikely to come in and instantly make a difference, he could well become the long-term heir to Alderweireld’s throne as he’s not getting any younger at 31.
Indeed, the Belgian beast has seen a dip in playing time recently having played a full 90 minutes just once since mid-December. Alderweireld played only 45 minutes in the FA Cup, and wasn’t risked against Fulham in the Premier League earlier this week.
Min-jae, an international teammate of Heung-min Son, has also been handed huge praise by Goal.com journalist Sungmo Lee, who told football.london:
“Kim Min-jae is hailed as one of the best centre-backs South Korea has produced in 21st century. He has huge potential. He’s big, strong, and fast.
“He’s strong in the air, and also has good feet. He has a strong character as well which Mourinho always likes. Therefore, under Mourinho, and especially with Son, he could settle at Spurs very quickly.”
Spurs have every right to be worried amid interest from the Blues too, after all, they lost out on Willian back in 2013, so Daniel Levy must absolutely ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.
It was thought that Beijing would want €17m (£15m) for his signature in the summer, though it remains to be seen whether that remains the case.
Forget Joe Rodon, the South Korean ‘monster’ could well be the dream successor to Alderweireld.