Despite being well-stocked in the engine room, it appears as if another central midfielder is on Antonio Conte’s wishlist and one name has emerged in recent days.
Spurs chief Fabio Paratici is set to send scouts to Qatar to watch a number of players but it’s Mohammed Kudus who could catch the eye for Ghana, who will face Rodrigo Bentancur’s Uruguay and Heung-min Son’s South Korea in Group H.
According to Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness), the Ajax maestro has ended up in the crosshairs of the Lilywhites, thanks to his star-studded domestic performances this campaign, though Italian giants AC Milan are also keen on his signature.
His role in Amsterdam has often been as a secondary striker or attacking midfielder but for his country, he’s likely to occupy a deeper role as Otto Addo has called up numerous forwards, such as Jordan Ayew of Crystal Palace, Club Brugge’s Kamal Sowah and the Basque-born Inaki Williams.
Kudus has immense qualities as a box-to-box machine, as evident by the level in which he’s performed over the last year – as per FBref, the 22-year-0ld is in the top 3% of his positional peers in the ‘next eight’ divisions for passes attempted, pass completion, progressive passes, successful dribbles and total shots per 90.
Meanwhile, WhoScored list his dribbling, tackling and passing as his strongest attributes, which bears some similarities to that of Mousa Dembele, formerly of Tottenham.
The Belgian monster formed a formidable partnership with Victor Wanyama for several seasons under Mauricio Pochettino, with the powerful pair often there to do the ‘dirty work’ behind Christian Eriksen.
And whilst there is no longer an obvious no.10 or even room for one in Conte’s current system, Kudus could partner with Rodrigo Bentancur to recreate this tough duo.
The Uruguayan leads the squad for tackles per game (2.6) and is joint-second for interceptions per game (1.3) too, so he’s taken up the Wanyama-type of role and as Kudus can get forward in the final third, he could go one better than Dembele by providing goals and assists, meaning the Italian head coach could unearth another monster midfield duo if Paratici were to sign the latter in January.