Tottenham Hotspur are eyeing up a move for Jonathan Bamba this summer, according to reports…
Bamba is another player that scouts from the north London club have been tracking. The 24-year-old joined Lille on a free transfer from league rivals Saint-Etienne in 2018.
This news would almost surely spell the end for Erik Lamela’s time at the club, as this week, the long-serving Argentine has been linked with a return to the Serie A.
Bologna sporting director Walter Sabatini, who oversaw the 29-year-old’s sale from Roma to Spurs in 2013, has confirmed that his former star is indeed a target, he said (via the Evening Standard): “Lamela is one of the names we are looking into,” said Sabatini. “We are trying to understand if there are possibilities to get there and there is no guarantee.”
Given Lamela’s injury issues (133 games missed) and inconsistencies (one goal contribution every three matches), it is probably time to move on, so swooping for the Lille sensation is certainly a good place to start in trying to fill that void.
Over in Ligue 1, the exploits of Jonathan David, Renato Sanches and formerly, Nicolas Pepe have often taken the bulk of the plaudits for Les Dogues but the former France U21 international has remained a key asset.
Take this season, for example, Bamba has contributed seven goals and nine assists from 38 appearances across the French top-flight and the Europa League, via Transfermarkt.
That’s him providing a goal every two games, one fewer than what Lamela has delivered in eight seasons at Spurs. Bamba also ranks second for average WhoScored rating (7.17) this season, ahead of both David and Sanches.
Speaking in November about the winger’s form, Lille boss Christophe Galtier said: “Jonathan’s been in fantastic form at the start of this season. Full credit to him. Jo’s on the pitch more often than not, and if that’s the case, it’s because he’s an important player for the team.”
Between The Lines analyst, Zach Lowry, dubbed Bamba their “creative leader” because “everything runs through him in attack.” Indeed, the majority of their forward play has come from that left side, where the 5 foot 9 dynamo likes to operate in the pocket of space behind David.
Bamba has also been dubbed a ‘hidden gem’ in the past, too, with his ‘ lightning quick’ speed a key attribute, something that Lamela may no longer have given his age and injury history.
As evident above, replacing the Andre Villas-Boas signing with Bamba could be quite a shrewd move from Daniel Levy. He can strike gold by moving the Argentine on, and bringing in the Lille talisman as his replacement.