Tottenham Hotspur appear to be closing in on their first signing of the summer…
The Premier League outfit have been pursuing a move for Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu for several weeks and now it seems as if a deal is nearly over the line.
Last week, Football Insider claimed that personal terms had been agreed with the Japan international over a long-term contract, so it’s now on Fabio Paratici and Daniel Levy to strike a fee with Bologna.
It’s also thought that the Lilywhites have previously offered €18m (€16m) but the Serie A outfit his holding out for something in the region of €20m (£18m) to €25m (£21.5m), though the right-back is keen to join the club.
This move will be the first from Spurs this summer, if successful, and will kickstart an exciting new time in North London. It’s not only Nuno Santo’s first signing but Paratici’s too.
The Italian’s reign in N17 will be determined by his activity in the transfer market and in Tomiyasu, Spurs are getting a very impressive talent and one that will bolster the playing squad instantly.
Valued at £18m by Transfermarkt, the 22-year-old is versatile enough to play through the middle and out on the right, so he could help be the solution to two of their long-standing problems.
Last season, individual errors and a lack of cohesion saw Spurs record the worst defensive record of any of the traditional ‘big six’ teams. One of Jose Mourinho’s most utilised partnerships (he did use over 16 in total) was scorned by ex-midfielder Jamie O’Hara back in February.
“I don’t know why Jose keeps playing [Davinson] Sanchez and [Eric] Dier because it’s probably one of the worst partnerships in the Premier League,” he told talkSPORT.
Similarly, Serge Aurier reverted back to his calamitous ways, leading to Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher deeming him “one of the biggest liabilities in Premier League football.”
As the 6 foot 2 Bologna star can play in both positions, Nuno has a pretty solid asset at his disposal.
After all, Tomiyasu’s current teammate and fellow full-back Mitchell Dijks dubbed him a “true Japanese warrior” to reporters, via Tuttosport, back in 2019.
The young defender rated out as Bologna’s third-best player (6.77), as per WhoScored ratings, and despite being an imposing physical presence, winning 2.9 aerial battles per game, he was equally adept with the ball at his feet, recording a seasonal passing success rate of 82.1%.
Furthermore, he displayed his intelligence and impressive ability to read the game by recording an average of 1.7 interceptions and 1.5 tackles per league outing, too.
That’s more aerial duels won than every defender bar Dier, more interceptions than even Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and a better accuracy than Giovani Lo Celso, via WhoScored.
Paratici, Nuno, Levy and the Hotspur faithful should be absolutely buzzing as they close in on the 23-time Japan international. It’ll be quite the coup, indeed.