Tottenham Hotspur are set for a busy summer transfer window as manager Antonio Conte looks to make his own mark on this largely-inherited Lilywhites squad.
As many as ten players could be shown the exit door in a bid to increase the Italian’s transfer kitty, ranging from the likes of exiled duo Joe Rodon and Steven Bergwijn to usual starters Sergio Reguilon and Emerson Royal, as per The Evening Standard.
Dan Kilpatrick also reports that Conte is on the lookout for a new midfielder, one similar to and in the mould of Chelsea star Jorginho, putting Harry Winks’ future in jeopardy.
Coincidentally, the north London outfit have also been linked with a move for Lazio sensation Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who could well fit that exact profile.
The Serbia international has a whole host of clubs pursuing his signature, including Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Juventus, so he won’t be an easy man to land this off-season, that’s for sure.
Milinkovic-Savic has been something of a standout and consistent performer for Maurizio Sarri, who took the Italian midfielder to Stamford Bridge with him from Napoli in July 2018, so it’s no wonder the 27-year-old has been a key player for him in Rome.
As per WhoScored, the £45m-rated powerhouse sits atop the Lazio charts for seasonal average rating, managing a 7.37 in Serie A. He has also delivered more assists (11) than any other player, on top of providing ten goals too.
However, the 6 foot 3 titan does more than just offer up goal contributions. Compared to his positional peers in Europe over the last 365 days, the Serbian has ranked inside the top 2% for progressive passes (6.08 per 90), top 8% for aerial duels won (2.65 per 90) and the top 11% for passes attempted (66.96 per 90), via FBRef.
Elsewhere, he leads the squad for tackles won (1.9 per game) and isn’t too far behind for interceptions either (one per game), thus making him one of the most complete and all-round midfielders in the game right now.
As we know with Jorginho, he can offer goals through his set-piece ability but for the Blues, he has averaged at least 2.1 tackles and 1.3 interceptions in every Premier League season since arriving at Stamford Bridge, as per WhoScored.
The similarities between the two are striking, so heading into the summer, Spurs must make Milinkovic-Savic one of their top targets to appease Conte.
Once described by Parma sporting director Demetrio Albertini as a “great champion” with “extraordinary elegance” and compared to Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane, the Lazio star would be a stunning arrival in N17 and ultimately one for whom Conte is clearly longing heading into next season.
In Milinkovic-Savic, the Spurs boss could well find that Jorginho-like goalscoring enforcer that he desires.
AND in other news, Fabrizio Romano drops Christian Eriksen-Spurs update…