Fabio Paratici could truly kickstart the Antonio Conte era at Tottenham Hotspur with an audacious swoop for Mattijs de Ligt this winter…
Spurs have been linked with a move for the Juventus centre-back in recent weeks, with Football Insider suggesting that the 22-year-old is on the radar of the Italian supremo ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
It’s thought that the Lilywhites sporting director believes a deal could be viable for de Ligt in January and that manager Antonio Conte is keen to bolster his three-man defence with at least one ‘top-class’ central defender.
According to ex-Leeds striker Noel Whelan to the same outlet, the 31-cap Dutch star would be a “massive signing” for Spurs following Cristian Romero’s injury blow and doubts over Eric Dier’s suitability in defence.
It remains to be seen how much Juventus would command for their young centre-back, though Transfermarkt value him at £63m.
De Ligt really would be a major coup for Spurs and one that would really signal the club’s intentions under a trophy-laden manager like Conte. He has no fewer than nine honours, including last season’s Serie A title, as well as a Premier League and FA Cup.
He’s a born-winner but must be backed in the transfer market, as seen by the vast majority of his recent managerial roles – for instance, he spent over £300m on 12 players, to varying degrees of success. N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger have been two huge success stories and both remain at the club to this day.
Spurs currently have one of the worst defensive records in the Premier League. No team ranked 16th or better has a worse goal difference and that’s hardly a surprise as there have not been too many reinforcements to a backline that was ever so error-prone last season.
With Conte wanting to deploy a back-three, it would make sense for him to target additions in the position and they really should look no further than de Ligt – just as Whelan claims, it would be massive for the club and squad.
He is currently Massimiliano Allegri’s fourth-best performer in the Italian top-flight, managing an average WhoScored rating of 6.85, which is better than seasoned veterans Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
The youngster’s agent, Mino Raiola, believes he’s like an “oil tanker” in defence as “he can’t be stopped”, whilst European football expert Carlo Garganese once described him as an “absolute monster.”
Standing at 6 foot 2, with very strong ball-playing and physical qualities, de Ligt could be a game-changing and statement signing for the north Londoners.
His arrival would send shockwaves to the rest of the league that Spurs are ‘back.’