Tottenham Hotspur could find their next Eric Dier if emerging reports are to be believed…
According to Calciomercato.it, Spurs sporting director Fabio Paratici will look to sign another defender from the Serie A during the January transfer window, this time targeting AS Roma centre-back Roger Ibanez.
Journalist Enrico Camelio told the website’s football show that the north London outfit “really like” the Brazilian colossus and will try to sign him at the next possible opportunity.
It remains to be seen if the Italian side would be willing to part ways with the first-team star and for how much, although Transfermarkt currently value him at £22.5m, with the 22-year-old under contract in Rome until 2025.
During an initial loan spell at Roma last season, the young versatile defender proved to be an absolute rock at the back, where he averaged two tackles, 2.2 aerial duels won, 2.3 interceptions, 2.6 clearances per game, via WhoScored.
This really displayed his ability to defend but he too was equally adept with the ball at his feet, managing an 86.9% passing accuracy, which has since increased up to 90.8% this season and as we know, Mourinho likes to play out from the back, so this is a crucial aspect of his game.
In some ways, this further highlights why Spurs could receive another Dier-like presence in the squad after the England international was signed from Sporting Lisbon at a young age and was converted into a centre-back, having played most of his career in defensive midfield.
One-time Spurs managerial target Paulo Fonseca managed him in the Italian capital and once described him as “a talent” to The Athletic. “It’s not easy to find fast, aggressive central defenders,” he added. “But Roger has another side to his game. He has a lot of quality and courage on the ball.”
In Ibanez, Paratici could well find Spurs their next Dier, whether he will be available or not certainly remains to be seen but if a deal can be struck, then the Brazil U23 international could add a lot to Nuno Santo’s backline in 2022.
AND in other news, Steven Bergwijn posts worrying injury update…