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Spurs in the race to sign Enzo Fernandez

Tottenham Hotspur are the latest team to register an interest in signing World Cup sensation Enzo Fernandez ahead of the January transfer window…

What’s the word?

That’s according to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, who has listed the north Londoners alongside a range of teams who have sounded out his agents over a potential move in 2023.

The likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, both Manchester clubs and Arsenal are among the domestic rivals, whilst European giants such as Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are also keen to secure his signature.

However, if a team is to land him, then they’ll have to pay Benfica his €120m (£105m) release clause and after he won the ‘Young Player of the Tournament’ award in Qatar, that is something of a “bargain” – in the words of analyst Statman Dave.

Should Spurs break the bank for Enzo Fernandez?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

Imagine him and Bentancur at Spurs

Fernandez is a real star of the future, potentially joining the likes of Josko Gvardiol and Jude Bellingham as generational talents at the highest level.

Indeed, the Argentine “phenomenon” – as hailed by scout Jacek Kulig – has already been likened to one of the game’s greats in Zinedine Zidane by Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro.

According to the former Real Madrid assistant, who was at the Bernabeu at the same time as the legendary French midfielder, Fernandez’s “surprising passes and vision” are “similar to those of Zidane, who sometimes solved a play just by the way he received the ball,” before also lauding him as “absolutely amazing.”

It’s hard to argue against that, as we’ve just seen at the World Cup, where he stood alongside compatriot Lionel Messi and PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe as the award winners on the world’s biggest stage.

Across seven appearances, the Benfica dynamo provided two goal contributions from a holding midfield role and also averaged 3.97 tackles and interceptions per 90, as per FBref.

Being defensively sound but also capable of showing creativity in the final third – having averaged 3.04 shot-creating actions and 3.81 progressive passes per 90 in Qatar – is certainly in similar ilk to Zidane.

And when compared to his positional peers across Europe’s ‘next eight’, he’s in a total league of his own, ranking inside the top 1% for non-penalty expected goals and assists (0.45), attempted passes (96.83) and progressive passes (9.50) per 90, via FBref.

If Spurs were to shock the footballing world and win the race for Fernandez, then sporting director Fabio Paratici could form a frightening partnership in Antonio Conte’s engine room, pairing him alongside Rodrigo Bentancur.

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Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne in action with Tottenham Hotspur's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

Okay, we'll start with an easy one... How much did Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg cost last summer?

The Uruguay international caught the eye in the group stages but has been immense for the north Londoners domestically, managing four goals and two assists from 14 league appearances, via Transfermarkt.

Pairing the Argentine “beast” – as described by journalist Ives Galarcep – with the Uruguayan “Rolls-Royce” – as South American football writer Tom Robinson once lauded – would be a midfield unit to be reckoned with in the Premier League and beyond.

Paratici and co would need to shatter a club-record but on recent evidence, Fernandez would be worth every penny, so he must look to try and lure the 21-year-old to Hotspur Way in January.

AND in other news, Paratici could ease Spurs’ big Richarlison blow by signing £13m “magician” in January