Tottenham may be in the midst of a virus sweeping through their camp but that won’t stop Antonio Conte, Fabio Paratici and Daniel Levy from devising their blueprints ahead of the transfer window.
A host of names have been linked but it’s in the middle of the park where they could look to focus on.
Franck Kessie continues to be linked with Spurs and it’s hardly a surprise with Tanguy Ndombele’s future in doubt as usual.
Ndombele has been a constant source of frustration for many a Spurs manager now with several coaches wondering how on earth they can get the best out of him.
The Frenchman had a supposed falling out with Jose Mourinho and he came close to leaving the club as a result.
He has been an outside figure at the club ever since and despite his best attempts to be involved, a move away seems likely. A move to Juventus has been touted while it’s even been claimed that Antonio Conte is prepared to offload him after making a quick decision following his arrival in north London.
If Ndombele does seek pastures new, a replacement will be needed in central areas. One player they’ve been linked with is Lille dynamo Renato Sanches and he could be the ideal replacement in the middle of the park.
Spurs’ current club-record signing is very much known for towering above his opponents while making powerful surges forward. He combines that with technical elegance that makes him such a beautiful player to watch.
In Sanches, however, they’d find someone with all of those attributes but with the right mentality and commitment.
So far this season, the 24-year-old has registered 0.6 shots, 1.4 key passes and 2.8 dribbles per game, numbers that are certainly similar in some regard to Ndombele who has managed 1.3 shots, 0.4 key passes and 1.6 dribbles per match.
On that evidence, Sanches is the more creative but there are certain parallels in the way they carry possession forward.
Speaking to Football Insider last summer, Kevin Campbell was full of praise for the youngster, saying:
“The young man deserves a huge amount of credit for the way he has bounced back. It feels like he has been around for a decade but he is only 23. It is incredible.
“He has had to reinvent himself a bit but he is a fantastic player. He is strong, powerful and is a great ball carrier.”
Those quotes could quite easily describe Ndombele and so could words from TMW writer Antonio Tiziano Palmieri who once dubbed Sanches a “giant.”
If he arrives at Spurs this winter, he certainly has the ability to be an enormous presence and if he helps replace Ndombele in the process, the £27m-rated titan would be a marvellous pick up by Paratici and co.