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Spurs: Nicolo Zaniolo can be Antonio Conte’s next Cesc Fabregas

Tottenham Hotspur are continuing to explore a move for Nicolo Zaniolo…

What’s the word?

That’s according to transfer insider Dean Jones, who has provided an update on Spurs’ pursuit of the AS Roma midfielder to GIVEMESPORT this week.

“Zaniolo is still one there. I’d say they’re exploring rather than really prioritising at this point,” he said.

“They would like him, but certain conditions have to be met, and I’m not sure Tottenham are going to meet all of them.”

It’s thought that the Serie A outfit, managed by ex-Lilywhites head coach Jose Mourinho, would like around £50m to let the Italy international leave the capital.

Meanwhile, the north Londoners recently had a loan-to-buy offer rejected by the Giallorossi, as per The Times.

Conte’s next Cesc

Despite suffering two ACL injuries in his short career to date, the 23-year-old dynamo is still one of the most exciting and talented players in the Italian top-flight and he showed exactly why last season.

As per Transfermarkt, Zaniolo delivered eight goals and nine assists for Roma, including the match-winner in their Europa Conference League triumph against Feyenoord.

He did so playing in a variety of roles, ranging from right-wing to attacking midfield and even upfront.

Should Spurs splash out £50m on Zaniolo this window?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

That versatility will certainly appeal to manager Antonio Conte but it’s his ability to deliver goals and assists from the engine room that is most attractive, seeing as he is lacking such a presence at Spurs right now.

None of Conte’s current midfield options of Rodrigo Bentancur, Yves Bissouma, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp have surpassed a total of seven assists in any league campaign since WhoScored records began.

That’s a worrying sign and when you look at the Italian’s previous success in the Premier League, where he won the league title with Spurs’ arch-rivals Chelsea back in 2017, you’ll see that he had the creative juices of Cesc Fabregas in central midfield.

The Blues struggled without the Spaniard in the early games of that campaign but he quickly emerged as a key cog, registering 12 assists in 29 matches, as well as finding the net on five occasions too, as per Transfermarkt.

In fact, only Andrea Pirlo (29) has created more goals under Conte than the ex-Arsenal star (22).

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A truly wasted talent...

Zaniolo can certainly fit this mould – an no.8 that can get forward and deliver in the opposition box – having been likened to that of two Premier League greats in Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

“He will go places,” Vecchi told La Gazzetta dello Sport (via GOAL). “He has the characteristics to become a modern mezzala. He’s a Gerrard, Lampard-type player.”

Once lauded as a “frightening talent” by CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs, the Roma star ranked inside the top 11% of his positional peers across Europe for through balls (0.32 per 90) and managed as many as 5.53 touches per 90 in the opposition box, which only further reinforces his influence in and around the final third.

As such, Spurs sporting director Fabio Paratici must return to Roma and offer a serious bid for the Italian star as he could well become the next Fabregas-like figure for Conte.

He needs a creative piece to round off his squad and on the above evidence, there won’t be many better candidates than Zaniolo right now.

AND in other news, Conte eyeing 5th exit of the summer, it could be bye-bye to “very lazy” Spurs flop...

Article title: Spurs: Nicolo Zaniolo can be Antonio Conte’s next Cesc Fabregas

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