Tottenham Hotspur are their sights set on a new central defensive addition, according to recent reports this week, and it could be bad news for the recently linked-away Davinson Sanchez.
Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has revealed to We Are Tottenham TV that Spurs are keen on signing Fiorentina colossus Nikola Milenkovic, but may have to wait until the summer to seal any move.
It’s not the first time that the north London outfit has been linked to the imposing 23-year-old centre-back as claims from Italy emerged last month suggesting he could be available to Daniel Levy for just €25m (£22m).
If Jose Mourinho is to bolster his backline, whether that’s now or in the summer, then you’d imagine that Davinson Sanchez is in grave danger of becoming even more of a forgotten man in N17.
Ever since West Ham’s shocking comeback in October, the Colombian one-time club-record signing has been heavily out-of-favour. Indeed, he has been snubbed from the starting XI a total of 11 times in all competitions since that day, starting just twice in the Premier League in the same timeframe, per Transfermarkt.
And according to The Athletic’s Charlie Eccleshare in December, the 24-year-old defender “would be open to a move next month if the right opportunity comes up.”
Whilst Eurosport’s Dean Jones believes the Spurs hierarchy would be willing to listen to offers for Sanchez during this current transfer window.
Therefore, it seems viable that Milenkovic could be signed as a potential replacement and possibly as an upgrade in the role too.
The 26-time Serbia international has drawn comparisons to Premier League legend Nemanja Vidic over the course of his career to date. Mozzart Sport journalist Dejan Stankovic told ESPN:
“Milenkovic is better than Vidic with the ball at his feet, and he is much calmer on the field. He is the most talented centre-back Serbia have had since Vidic, and they definitely have one thing in common – both are fearless.”
His old Partizan head coach Ivan Tomic also lauded his ability in a positive manner, claiming: “Milenkovic has [the] physical characteristics of a beast. He reads the game well, plays the ball, and should have a great career ahead of him.”
Milenkovic has been La Viola’s star performer, topping the charts with a WhoScored rating of 6.92 and when delving into the numbers, it’s hardly a surprise as he’s also first in Cesare Prandelli’s squad for key defensive attributes such aerial duels won (3.8) clearances (3.4) tackles (1.5), interceptions (1.5) and blocks (one) per game in the Serie A this term.
These are hugely encouraging returns for someone nowhere near hitting the peak of his career – by comparison, Sanchez can only match his tackling statistics having averaged 1.6 tackles per game over the course of his career, per WhoScored.
Evidently, the 6 foot 5 powerhouse would be a viable option for Spurs to consider and if Levy can afford to, he absolutely must sanction a £22.5m swoop either this window or in the summer.
Milenkovic would be one hell of an addition at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
AND in other news, Levy could find Alderweireld’s dream CB partner in £22.5m-rated “leader”…