Tottenham Hotspur are keeping a close eye on Piero Hincapie ahead of a potential swoop this summer…
That’s according to Sport BILD’s head of football, Christian Falk, who recently provided an update on Spurs’ interest in the Bayer Leverkusen central defender to GIVEMESPORT.
With a left-sided defender seemingly high on the priorities list for the Lilywhites at the end of the season, as per Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth, it seems that the Ecuador international would cost in excess of €40m (£35m), via transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
Spurs could definitely do with some defensive reinforcements in 2023, with inconsistencies and poor performances creeping back in under manager Antonio Conte, having suffered clear-cut defeats to arch-rivals Arsenal, Manchester City and Aston Villa since the turn of the year.
Hincapie would be a long-term project for the Italian – or whoever is in the dugout come next season – as he’s still very raw at just 21 years of age.
The modern-day centre-back is a ball-playing option but despite being a “tremendous young player,” he does “make mistakes” in the form of rash decision-making and the odd wayward pass – in the words of German football commentator Kevin Hatchard on Sky Sports.
That said, Conte has had some pretty good success with developing inexperienced defenders, such is the case at his former club Inter Milan, where he relied upon Alessandro Bastoni.
The Italian colossus came close to joining his former manager in north London in the past, so perhaps he could unearth his next top defensive prospect in Hincapie, given the two are comparable players, per FBref‘s statistical profile model.
Just like Bastoni, the Educadorian excels with the ball at his feet – ranking inside the top 4% of his positional peers across the top-five European leagues for successful dribbles (0.59), as well as the top 12% for tackles (2.20) per 90, too.
It’s why he has been dubbed as a “prodigy” in the past by Jose de Jesus Ortiz, whilst talent scout Jacek Kulig has lauded him as a “complete and dominant” centre-back, one who is also capable of playing at left-back.
Under Conte, the 21-year-old gem could hone in on his obvious potential and blossom from an inconsistent, error-prone youngster into an absolute monster at the back.
The Spurs boss won the Serie A title with the youth of Bastoni regularly featuring in his backline, so if sporting director Fabio Paratici can lure Hincapie to N17, then this masterclass could well be repeated.
AND in other news, Forget Perisic: Spurs’ 13-pass passenger was “toothless” once again vs Fulham…