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Tottenham eyeing Naby Keita swoop

Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly keeping a close eye on Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita amid growing uncertainty regarding the playmaker’s long-term future at Anfield.

What’s the word?

According to 90min, the north Londoners – along with Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea – are believed to be among those who are currently ‘contemplating an offer’ for the Guinea international, with the 27-year-old currently having less than a year to run on his existing deal on Merseyside.

The former RB Leipzig man – who moved to England in 2018 – had reportedly been keen on signing fresh terms with Jurgen Klopp’s side over the summer, although there was no such willingness on the part of the Reds to get an agreement secured.

That has ensured that the 50-cap gem could potentially be snapped up for nothing at the end of the current campaign, while also potentially agreeing on a move abroad in January, amid reported interest from clubs across Europe.

Conte’s next Kante

The £22.5m-rated maestro is currently enduring a frustrating season, having so far failed to make a single appearance due to injury, with that having seemingly been the player’s story of his time under Klopp over the past four years or so.

While that may be of concern to those at N17, the £120k-per-week machine did showcase his quality as part of Liverpool’s quadruple charge last term, notably scoring four goals and providing three assists in 40 appearances across all fronts.

His arrival at Tottenham could well hand Antonio Conte some much-needed depth in his midfield ranks, with the recent absence of Pierre-Emile Hojberg having laid bare the need for further recruits, particularly should the Italian persist with his 3-5-2 approach.

Adding Keita into the mix could well see the former Chelsea boss land his next N’Golo Kante, with the diminutive Frenchman having been crucial to the coach’s title-winning side at Stamford Bridge back in 2016/17.

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How well do you know Spurs manager Antonio Conte? Question 1. During his playing days, in which position did Conte typically operate?

The World Cup winner was notably described by Conte as “one of the best players” that he has ever coached, with the 53-year-old suggesting that it felt at times as if he had 12 men due to the former Leicester City man’s relentless midfield presence.

Keita – who has been dubbed “world-class” by teammate Virgil van Dijk – could well be the perfect man to provide that Kante-esque quality to the current Spurs side, with the two players seemingly sharing a number of stylistic and statistical qualities, as per FBref.

The current Reds star notably ranks in the top 1% for progressive carries and the top 13% for dribbles completed among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, while his Blues counterpart has performed similarly as he ranks in the top 5% and the top 1% for the same two metrics respectively.

That would seemingly showcase the two’s ball-playing quality and ability to drive forward from deep, with it likely to be a real bonus for Tottenham to have a player with such a forward-thinking approach on their books.

With Conte having reaped the benefits of bringing Kante to west London in the past, he could now seemingly repeat that trick by luring Keita to north London.