Tottenham Hotspur have begun discussions over signing a new winger, according to emerging reports this week…
The Athletic’s David Ornstein claims that Spurs have entered preliminary talks to sign VfB Stuttgart winger Nicolas Gonzalez, who was linked with a move to Premier League rivals Leeds United throughout the summer.
It’s claimed that Jose Mourinho may look to bolster his wide areas depending on the club’s departures this window and whilst the 22-year-old wide man does not have a release clause, the Bundesliga outfit would be looking for a fee in the region of €30m (£27m).
Serie A giants Juventus have also held tentative discussions over Gonzalez too.
Of all the positions you’d expect Mourinho to sign this winter, out on the attacking flanks is probably not among the first few priorities.
It could mean bad news for one of his current options – most likely, Erik Lamela given his age, profile and persistent injury troubles.
After breaching the government’s lockdown regulations over the festive period, the long-serving Argentian was once again snubbed from the travelling squad for their FA Cup clash with Marine on Sunday.
According to Eurosport’s Dean Jones, the Andre-Villas Boas signing is expendable this window if a suitable offer comes in, and even Kevin Phillips believes it’s time to move him on, he told Football Insider: “If there is an opportunity for Mourinho to offload him in this window, I think he will do it.”
Indeed, Gonzalez – a fellow South American – would be a suitable replacement, if not an instant upgrade.
After a fine season in the German second-tier where he bagged 14 goals last term, the 22-year-old gem has continued his impressive form despite promotion to the Bundesliga, scoring five and assisting two in just six starts, per WhoScored.
He’s also averaged a whopping 3.2 shots per game, the fifth-best in the division and is more than the likes of Heung-min Son and Gareth Bale – Lamela hasn’t even managed anywhere near that in eight seasons at Spurs, his best effort being two shots per game in an injury-hit 2016/17 campaign.
The official Bundesliga website likened him to the late Diego Maradona as his early career followed a similar path as well as former Madrid man Raul Gonzalez due to his ‘pace, finesse, intelligent movement and classy left foot.’
Current Stuttgart coach Pellegrino Matarazzo waxed lyrical over his qualities. He said: “He’s got a lot of qualities, but what I like best about him is that he’s a winner. He wants to win at all costs. He always gives 100 per cent and gets stuck in. He’s very important for us.”
This sounds like a Mourinho player all over, and evidently, he’d be a better long-term option over Lamela going forward. If Spurs chairman Daniel Levy can afford to, then he should absolutely sanction this £27m swoop as soon as possible.
AND in other news, £27m “leader” could become Mourinho’s next John Terry…