Despite the addition of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the summer, Tottenham Hotspur are pursuing another midfielder this month.
According to Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles in December, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho asked for a box-to-box maestro in the upcoming January transfer market.
One name that has been linked with a switch to north London is former Premier League ace Marten de Roon, who has made a name for himself in Serie A for surprise package Atalanta.
90min revealed exclusively that both Spurs and Manchester City were keeping an eye on him, though Pep Guardiola are more likely to consider an approach for him in the summer, thus potentially opening the door to Daniel Levy.
Further fuel has been added to the fire after Eurosport’s Dean Jones confirmed just last week that the Dutchman was indeed a player they were looking at.
He also went on to suggest that Gedson Fernandes is likely to return to Benfica, whilst the futures of Dele Alli and Harry Winks were by no means certain, so a new midfielder could well be on the agenda.
And de Roon fits the mould of what Spurs should be after.
They’ve got that defensive anchor in Hojbjerg and potential no.10s in Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso.
Though, the latter is yet to hit the ground running having contributed to just seven goals and four assists in 56 appearances, via Transfermarkt.
Perhaps that’s because he’s not been given the freedom that Christian Eriksen once had in attacking midfield, after all, the Argentine playmaker is averaging 1.6 tackles per game across the Premier League and in Europe too.
So the addition of a box-to-box option alongside Hojbjerg could be a dream for Lo Celso’s attacking output.
Valued at €20m (£18m) by CIES, de Roon is a player who has previously received a glowing endorsement from Mourinho.
After his Manchester United side beat Middlesbrough in the FA Cup in 2017, he told reporters via GazetteLive:
“This kid De Roon is phenomenal, his work-rate is phenomenal.”
The 29-year-old has continued to deliver for Atalanta this term, where he is averaging 2.1 tackles, 1.9 interceptions, 0.7 shots and 0.6 key passes per game, via WhoScored, which merely emphasises his ability at either end of the pitch.
It also goes to show that his influence in the middle-third could be exactly what Mourinho needs to unlock Lo Celso’s true potential.
Daniel Levy must do what he can to secure the 15-cap gem this window.