According to ESPN, Tottenham are facing increasing competition for Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie.
Despite having already signed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg this summer, it appears Jose Mourinho hasn’t finished rebuilding the Spurs midfield ahead of the start of the new Premier League campaign next month.
ESPN claim that the Lilywhites’ reported target, McKennie, is now being pursued by other Premier League clubs, but that it’s Southampton who are currently “leading the race” for the signing of the USA international.
The report adds that a deal for the 21-year-old could reach up to £20m.
Whilst Spurs may feel they already have the ‘defensive midfield’ aspect of their squad sorted following the arrival of Hojbjerg, just imagine the kind of unbreakable wall Jose Mourinho could help build if he paired the Denmark international with McKennie.
The Schalke ace is another ball-winning ace whose energy and relentless running is a perfect match for the modern game. His manager at the Bundesliga side, David Wagner, said: “He’s an outstanding talent. In the No.6 or No.8 position he has the mentality, a real working mentality that you need. And he’s brave on the ball as well.”
His teammate at international, Reggie Cannon, further backed that up, revealing: “If you lose the ball, you know he’s going to be the first one running (to get) the ball. He’s a leader and that’s something I can learn from – everyone can learn from to up their game.”
Whilst playing two workman like midfielders in the same line-up seems counter-productive or even defensive, Mourinho could help bring back that solidity that was sorely lacking from Spurs last season – only Chelsea and Burnley conceded more than their 47 Premier League goals out of the top ten.
The teams that Mourinho has been successful with, particularly at the likes of Chelsea and Inter, have had a formidable spine to them – think back to players like Claude Makelele, Michael Essien and Esteban Cambiasso to name but a few. Playing Hojbjerg and McKennie together would offer greater protection to the Spurs back-line and help strike fear into the rest of the Premier League.
Nobody would feel comfortable playing against a duo that hunt down every possession, and get the ball moving up the pitch as quickly as possible. It has all the hallmarks of being a potentially great midfield partnership.