Nuno Santo could kickstart his Tottenham Hotspur reign with a massive bang by signing long-time transfer target Joachim Andersen this window…
The 25-year-old has been firmly linked with a switch to North London over the last few months and now, according to Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, he’s a player that remains on their shortlist following the appointment of the Portuguese head coach.
Back in April, the Telegraph claimed Spurs were one of several Premier League teams monitoring the Dane’s situation as he’s set to return to parent club Lyon after a loan spell at relegated Fulham.
The Ligue 1 outfit are expected to let him depart permanently this summer for a fee in the region of £25m, whilst Eurosport’s Dean Jones told the ‘Touchline Talk’ podcast that the Lilywhites were in “pole position” to secure him over North London rivals Arsenal.
If Nuno wants to make sure he starts his Spurs career on the right path, then he absolutely has to bolster that struggling backline.
Last season, they recorded the worst defensive record of any of the ‘traditional’ top six, leaking as many as 45 goals from their 38 league outings, and in 2019/20, his Wolves side had a better record than Spurs too.
This largely boiled down to a couple of factors.
The presence of wily veteran Jan Vertonghen was not sufficiently replaced, with the inexperienced Joe Rodon arriving at the club just before the domestic transfer deadline, though that was with one eye on the future.
As a result, there was a serious lack of cohesion in the backline and that led to many players making individual mistakes that cost the side dearly. It was so bad that, at one stage, Jose Mourinho utilised 16 different combinations in defence. 16.
Former Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara even dubbed the duo of Davinson Sanchez and Eric Dier “probably one of the worst partnerships in the Premier League” and urged the club to get rid of them to talkSPORT back in February.
Andersen may not seem like the best of options, considering the Cottagers were relegated back to the Championship, but he was their one shining light, so much so that Scott Parker trusted him with the captain’s armband despite never playing in England before.
Indeed, the six-cap Denmark international made 31 appearances, in which he led the side out on 17 occasions (54.8% of matches), as per Transfermarkt.
His attributes match well to Nuno and his likely system in N17.
An average passing accuracy of 81.4% suggests he’s a solid ball-playing defender, whilst that is supplemented with impressive defensive qualities, having also registered an average of 4.8 clearances, 3.2 aerial duels won, 1.4 interceptions and 1.1 tackles, via WhoScored.
The 6 foot 4 colossus, who is valued at £18m by CIES Football Observatory, has been lauded as an “absolutely sensational” defender and “magnificent” by some in the press, which only goes to show that he perhaps did better than Fulham’s form suggests.
Andersen has also been likened to Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire. “Asked a Danish journo mate about Joachim Andersen. Described him as a great talent, captain material, good in the air, could be faster,” claimed The Sun’s Tom Barclay. “Harry Maguire-type, but smaller. Was excellent at Sampdoria, apparently.”
The Lyon centre-back could be an instant solution to Spurs’ defensive issues and that’s exactly why Nuno must push ahead and sign the long-time target this summer.