Tottenham Hotspur are now facing European competition in their bid to sign Pedro Porro from Sporting CP this month…
It’s already well-known that the 23-year-old dynamo will not leave Lisbon unless his €45m (£40m) release clause is paid and it’s thought that Spurs are evaluating a proposal that fits the Primeira Liga outfit’s demands.
But now Diego Simeone and Xavi could make it hard for Antonio Conte to land his man before the deadline on January 31st.
If sporting director Fabio Paratici were to offer a suitable package to Sporting for the exciting wing-back, then he could well finally atone for the club’s grave mistakes in the transfer market, where around £60m has been blown on three players that aren’t fancied by the manager.
Matt Doherty (£15m) and Emerson Royal (£26m) were signed before his arrival, whilst Djed Spence (£20m) joined in the summer and it has become increasingly clear that Conte isn’t encouraged by any of them.
The latter is yet to start a single match under the Italian head coach, whilst he has regularly switched between the two latter flops, with The Times reporting just a few months into his tenure that he was unconvinced by the pair of them.
It’s a very important role in Conte’s system as not only does the wing-back defend but he’s a main outlet for creativity too, which is why Porro could be the ultimate fix.
Such attacking exploits also see him rank within the top 1% of all wing-backs across Europe’s ‘next eight’ divisions for total shots, assists and shot-creating actions – making him in a league of his own.
Porro can also defend too, having averaged 1.6 tackles per game in the Portuguese top-flight – where he has been Ruben Amorim’s second-best performer – and 2.6 tackles per game in the Champions League – where he is currently the top-performer – this season, per WhoScored.
Once described as a “special talent” and the “best right-back in Portugal” by journalist Zach Lowry, and “perfect for Antonio Conte’s football” by Fabrizio Romano, it’s clear that Paratici could finally find the right sort of player and atone for the club’s £60m blunder on a trio of unsuitable flops.
Therefore, Spurs must make this “statement” signing – in the words of pundit Tam McManus – before it’s too late, given the now likely competition.