The transfer window may have only just slammed shut, but it seems as if Tottenham Hotspur are already planning ahead.
According to BILD, Spurs are in the race to sign Frankfurt sensation Evan N’Dicka this summer, though they are likely to face competition from arch-rivals Arsenal as well as Southampton.
It’s claimed that teams were pursuing his signature a year ago, but a serious injury curtailed his chances of making the switch to the Premier League, though he has since bounced back with impressive form.
The 21-year-old is a left-footed central defender, who can also play at left-back, very much in a similar vein to former Spurs star Jan Vertonghen, so perhaps it is no surprise to see the north Londoners mooted with interest.
Finding a new centre-back should be Daniel Levy, Steve Hitchen and Jose Mourinho’s top priority in the summer as we saw on Wednesday night, Spurs’ defensive frailties were laid bare as they leaked a whopping five goals to Everton.
“Don’t make me speak too much please about the defensive mistakes we made. I think that’s obvious. I don’t feel comfortable speaking about that,” said the Special One post-game, via football.london’s Alasdair Gold.
Mourinho has frequently rotated between Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, Joe Rodon and Toby Alderweireld, and is yet to settle on a proper partnership, only adding to the need for a new addition.
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It’s also no surprise to learn that the Spurs boss is chasing a major coup in the role, similar to that of Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool and more recently, ex-target Ruben Dias at Man City.
That’s according to the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick, who wrote: ‘Mourinho wants his own transformative signing, a defender who could have the same impact on Spurs as Van Dijk at Liverpool or Ruben Dias at Man City.’
This is where N’Dicka certainly fits the bill, he could be perfect for Mourinho.
In bouncing back from his injury, the young French colossus has found himself amongst Frankfurt’s best performers, ranking fourth for average rating (6.89) as per WhoScored figures.
His versatility is one massive bonus, but it is his reliability at the back that makes him seem well suited to the English top-flight – Die Adler’s ‘Mr Reliable‘ has a knack of being able to bring the ball out from defence, managing a 71.5% completion rate with 0.5 dribbles per 90, which is a benefit in trying to get on the front foot in any game.
The 6 foot 4 titan, who is valued at £20.25m by Transfermarkt, is also prepared to put in the graft off the ball, attempting 2.3 tackles per 90 at a success rate of 65%, which shows he’s a hard man to bypass, more often than not.
He also averages 2.9 clearances, 2.1 interceptions and 1.7 aerial duels won per 90, via WhoScored, thus proving to be quite the all-round monster defensively. He’s often in the right position or area to help out his side – whether that be in the air or on the ground.
And N’Dicka has drawn glowing praise in Germany over the years, Frankfurt legend Alexander Schur claimed: “He shows no nerves and plays with great authority,” while his boss, Adi Hutter, added: “Evan has developed phenomenally. He’s very attentive in the analysis of his own game. He’s very modest and always takes a lot on board.”
The France U21 international is understandably still very raw at 21 although under the tactical nous of Mourinho, he could well transform into the sort of beast Spurs need at the back.
After all, Dias is only 23 and has arguably been the signing of the season so far, helping City to 15 straight victories atop the Premier League table.
It remains to be seen what sort of fee the Bundesliga outfit would command, but on the evidence above, Mourinho would surely love Levy to strike on N’Dicka this summer.