According to France Football, Tottenham Hotspur are one of the sides eyeing up a summer swoop for Sven Botman…
It’s claimed that the north London outfit will try to convince the Dutchman into a move to the Premier League, though nothing has been agreed with either the player himself or his representatives.
Liverpool and Inter Milan are also mooted with interest in the 21-year-old defender.
If a new centre-back isn’t the top priority for Jose Mourinho and co this summer, then something is seriously wrong at Hotspur Way.
Last season, the club held the second-worst defensive record of any top-seven team in the Premier League and that problem has continued into this season, where a catastrophe of errors in the backline has been Spurs’ major Achilles heel.
Mourinho’s men have leaked more goals (27) than Aston Villa (26) and even Chelsea (25), who sacked Frank Lampard amid a run of poor form – how things change.
The Spurs boss has frequently chopped and changed his central options, though one player has remained constant in Eric Dier, who has started 21 of their top-flight outings, including four of their last five defeats as per Transfermarkt.
Botman, who has played only four more domestic matches than the Englishman this term, would be a major upgrade and should be signed at all costs this summer.
By comparison, Dier has only guided Spurs to six clean sheets in the Premier League, the last of which coming nearly two months ago at the turn of the year.
And when breaking down Botman’s defensive returns, he outranks the Spurs star considerably too.
In terms of work-rate off the ball, the 21-year-old is beyond clear, averaging more tackles (one) and interceptions (1.7) per game. At a tackle-success rate of 77%, it’s clear that many of Ligue 1’s attackers find Botman a difficult man to get past – the same cannot be said for Dier (0.8 tackles per game).
Whilst his positioning is ten times that of Dier, who only manages 0.9 interceptions per game.
This is often what lets the Englishman down – having moved into defence from midfield last term, he still cannot get in the right places at the right time, meaning his spatial awareness is actually quite shocking.
At 6 foot 4, that’s hardly a surprise but given Dier is the same height, you can see why the Tottenham star should be doing better and it’s also no wonder that ex-PL defender and current Lille partner, Jose Fonte, “describes him as a machine and a man who doesn’t make mistakes,” according to The Times’ Duncan Castles on the Transfer Window Podcast.
That should be music to Spurs supporters’ ears as Dier has been as calamitous as anybody in the English top-flight this season, as seen by him conceding a clumsy penalty to Chelsea and then being caught out of position against West Ham at the weekend.
Also dubbed a “leader” by Les Dogues boss Christophe Galtier, it’s evident that Botman would not only be an instant upgrade but a massive one at that too for Spurs.
Mourinho desperately needs a new centre-back and the Lille sensation should, quite rightly, sit atop their shortlist ahead of the summer transfer window.