The Athletic’s Tottenham Hotspur correspondent, Charlie Eccleschare, has identified ‘sensible’ targets that the north London outfit should aim for ahead of the January transfer window…
One name mentioned is Brighton and Hove Albion powerhouse Yves Bissouma, who has really impressed so far this season, despite all of the Seagull’s struggles.
“Another option is the Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma, who has also been linked with Arsenal.
“Bissouma has the capabilities to play box to box, and scored a couple of tidy goals at the end of last season and start of this, but has generally played as a No 6 of late.
“He has matured since joining Brighton in 2018 and has a better passing range than Sissoko, while being similarly effective off the ball. Brighton, though, would probably demand close to £40m.”
In the summer, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy pulled off – what has since turned out to be – an absolute masterstroke as he managed to secure former Southampton captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in a £15m deal.
Young right-back Kyle Walker-Peters was sent in the other direction for £12m, meaning they effectively only paid £3m for a 25-year-old with a ton of Premier League experience.
An utter bargain.
It’s been reported by Duncan Castles that Jose Mourinho is in the market for a new box-to-box enforcer next month and as Ecclesshare suggests, Bissouma is an ideal candidate.
The 6-foot Mali international, who cost them £15m two years ago, fits the mould immensely – based on this season alone, he has averaged 3.3 tackles, 1.5 dribbles, 1.5 shots and 0.8 interceptions per game, via WhoScored.
For comparison, he is even tackling more than Hojbjerg, and is also managing more dribbles than everyone in the Spurs squad bar Tanguy Ndombele.
“He makes good decisions, and he has the ability that top players have, in that he has got the power and athleticism to be able to use the ball well, so then it’s down to the tactical understanding of how we want him to play, and he’s now good at that too. He will get better and better the more he plays.”
This echoes praise from his former Lille teammate, Lebo Mothiba, who told the Argus:
“He is a very good midfielder, very skilful, and he has confidence. Each and every time he is always looking for the ball and, when he has the ball, he makes the difference. He is very skilful, and he is very strong.”
The “wonderful talent” would undoubtedly be a major upgrade to the likes of Sissoko, as Eccleshare points out, and the rarely-seen Harry Winks.
If Levy has the scope to get this done, then he can absolutely land Spurs another Hojbjerg – evidently in more ways than one.