Tottenham Hotspur remain interested in Nicolo Zaniolo, according to reports in Italy…
Calciomercato claim that AS Roma are keen on tying down the 22-year-old attacking midfielder to a new contract at the Stadio Olimpico, as he current deal expires in 2024.
It’s thought that the Italian playmaker is keen to sign but Spurs are in the market to land him, having been linked to him in summer 2020. Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness) even suggested that the north Londoners had a bid knocked back.
Zaniolo is currently valued at £36m by Transfermarkt.
Spurs must do all in their power to try and secure a move for the Roma star this January.
Nuno Santo’s side have been clearly lacking a creative influence since the start of the season – a Christian Eriksen-type player who can provide goals and assists in the final third.
Indeed, as per The Athletic, Spurs have recorded the lowest expected goals (4.42 xG) of any team in the Premier League, even those in the relegation zone. They have also only created two big chances and are second-bottom for total shots (46).
Only three teams have actually scored fewer goals than the Lilywhites, who possess a lethal frontline involving Harry Kane and Heung-min Son.
It’s an alarming issue which needs to be fixed in the transfer market and there won’t be many better candidates than Zaniolo.
Once described as a “modern mezzala” by former Inter Milan coach Stefano Vecchi, the young Italy international has been likened to Premier League greats Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, which bodes well for his potential fit in England, as well as the fact that they were both lethal in and around the opposition’s penalty box.
A serious injury ruled him out of featuring in 2020/21 but, during the previous campaign, the 22-year-old emerged as one of Roma’s attacking gems. He scored eight goals and provided four assists across Serie A and the Europa League, whilst also averaging 2.9 dribbles and 1.2 key passes per game, via WhoScored.
Zaniolo’s talent has also caught the eye of Roma’s record appearance maker, highest goalscorer and club legend Francesco Totti, who believes that the emerging talent “plays like a veteran” and “has explosive strength and technique, and everything it takes to become a truly great player.”
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Harry Winks and Oliver Skipp offer very little in the final third, whilst the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli and Giovani Lo Celso have struggled to step up in the past season or so.
It would make the world of sense for Spurs sporting director Fabio Paratici to launch a move for Zaniolo at the turn of the year. He can play out wide or through the middle and is clearly someone who could solve Nuno’s creative problems.
Whatever the price, the Premier League outfit must pay it.