Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho is keen on Lille centre-back Sven Botman, according to reports…
Sunday Times and Daily Record journalist Duncan Castles revealed on ‘The Transfer Window’ podcast that the Spurs manager was a big fan of the Dutchman as he fits the profile of the left-sided central defender he’s longing for.
“I can tell you that in addition to the interest from Liverpool, Jose Mourinho likes Botman as a player. We’ve told you previously that Mourinho has targeted two positions in his side for improvement and is asking the club to fund purchases in those areas. One is a box-to-box midfielder, which he is prioritising, and the other is a left-sided quick centre-back, left-footed centre-back, which is what Botman is.”
Measuring all of 6 foot 4 inches, the Ligue 1 monster has been described as a “leader” by his manager Christophe Galtier, and Mourinho has often had this sort of presence in all of his defences over the years.
Perhaps none more important than that of John Terry at Chelsea.
The ‘Special One’ won three Premier League titles and one FA Cup with the Englishman as his skipper, so adding someone of Botman’s nature could solve multiple issues in one fell swoop.
In Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez and Joe Rodon, he potentially lacks that leadership.
Some of Spurs’ best captains have come in the position – Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul – to name just a few.
Therefore, Mourinho must add this attribute if they are to truly contend for silverware under his stewardship.
And Botman does indeed fit the profile immensely, as Castles claims, it’s that left-footer he needs to shore up the backline.
In 25 appearances for Lille this term, the 20-year-old powerhouse has averaged 3.3 aerials won, 2.6 clearances, 1.8 interceptions and 1.1 tackles per game, via WhoScored.
For comparison, these numbers are better than that of Dier (2.9 aerials won, 0.4 tackles) and Alderweireld (2.3 aerials won, 0.3 interceptions) each outing in the Premier League, also per WhoScored.
According to French outlet Foot Mercato, Lille could be willing to let the Dutchman leave for around €30m (£27m), which on the face of it, is quite a bargain considering we’ve seen Harry Maguire and Virgil van Dijk command in excess of £75m in the past.
Daniel Levy may have to shift some of the deadwood out to fund the move, but do that he should as Mourinho could stumble on his next Terry – and that’ll only benefit Spurs tenfold.
It’s time to forget about Milan Skriniar, Botman would be a class addition to make.