Tottenham Hotspur are in the market for a new striker, and that’s not just because Harry Kane’s future is up in the air.
It’s thought that Lilywhites boss Nuno Santo is keen to deploy a system which utilises a two-man attack and has been seeking a proven Premier League forward to make that happen.
The Telegraph reported in early July that Danny Ings was a ‘top target’ but he has subsequently joined top-flight rivals Aston Villa, for whom he scored on the opening day at the weekend.
Another name who has appeared on Fabio Paratici’s radar is Leeds United talisman Patrick Bamford.
However, a Kane-Bamford frontline is a little one-dimensional. Aside from the obvious difference in quality – one starts for England, the other doesn’t even make the squad – they are rather similar in playing style, so that fails to make much sense at all.
If the Italian supremo wants to add a fresh alternative to Nuno’s attack, then perhaps his attention should turn to mooted long-time Spurs target Wilfried Zaha, who has been linked to the club for the umpteenth time this week.
Eurosport journalist Dean Jones revealed to ‘The Football Terrace’ podcast that the north Londoners were considering a move for the long-serving Crystal Palace attacker before the end of the month.
“I’ve heard Ismaila Sarr at Watford. I’ve heard Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace. Both players that Tottenham are looking at. It hasn’t gone very far yet and maybe they won’t progress with that interest but the fact that those names are being put forward, they’re a different type of forward. I guess it shows that there are various ideas that Nuno is working on right now and that Tottenham are trying to be versatile and flexible in their thinking.”
Spurs’ interest in Zaha dates back to at least 2016, when then-manager Mauricio Pochettino was said to be a huge admirer of the Ivory Coast international.
It’s believed that the Argentine saw a £12m bid rejected that summer and subsequently, Eagles chairman Steve Parish issued a hands-off warning before making a major claim about the former Spurs boss’ thoughts.
“We’ve told Spurs that there is really no point bidding for him because he is going nowhere – 100 per cent guaranteed,” he told talkSPORT (via Goal). “It’s not right really that players get their heads turned. I was told that the manager there thinks he’s the next Ronaldo. Well, I’d like to get the next Ronaldo for £12m.”
If Nuno really does require a proven Premier League talent, then Zaha could be the answer.
The versatile 28-year-old can play on both flanks, as well as up top, and has registered just shy of 250 appearances in the Premier League, where he has contributed to 88 goals, even despite a disappointing stint at Manchester United.
Last season saw him hit a career-best 11-goal tally in the top-flight, whilst throughout the course of his career, he has averaged 3.4 dribbles and 1.1 key passes per game, via WhoScored.
That’s a different type of threat to what Nuno currently has at his disposal, that’s for sure.
In terms of ability on the ball, no Spurs player could match Zaha’s numbers. In 2020/21, only one player averaged better than 1.5 dribbles per game and that was Tanguy Ndombele (2.2), who was still some way off the bar set by the Eagles dynamo.
It’s no wonder ex-Palace boss Roy Hodgson once lauded his star man as a “game-changer” for his side, whilst he has reiterated his desire to join a bigger club this very window, having seen moves to Everton and Arsenal collapse in recent times.
Zaha is expected to command a fee of around £40m, according to The Athletic’s Matt Woosnam, so it’s certainly a considerable investment to make but it is lower than Fiorentina’s asking price to another one of Spurs’ mooted targets Dusan Vlahovic, who could cost around €70m (£60m).
It would be a surprise, but Paratici should look to convince chairman Daniel Levy to fork out the funds for Zaha before August 31st, as he would add a new dimension to Spurs’ attack.
He and Kane would be a very intriguing frontline under Nuno.
AND in other news, Fabrizio Romano drops exciting Spurs transfer claim…