Tottenham Hotspur could secure manager Antonio Conte his new Eden Hazard with a move for Charles De Ketelaere…
According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, Spurs have become the latest team to enter the race to sign the Club Brugge sensation this January, with Serie A outfit AC Milan also mooted with interest.
Premier League rivals West Ham United and Everton have been linked with the 20-year-old gem.
In the summer, Football Transfers reported that the Belgian side would only be willing to sell him for a fee of around €25m (£22m).
Meanwhile, journalist Mo Messoudi claimed only last month: “For me, De Ketelaere is the most valuable player in Belgium at the moment. I am sure he will break the outgoing transfer record set by Jeremy Doku.”
Valued at a similar fee of £22.5m by Transfermarkt, De Ketelaere could be the perfect solution to the Lilywhites’ creative and attacking woes in the final third.
The 6 foot 4 maestro is capable of playing nearly anywhere – striker, no.10, wide, and in deeper midfield – and that makes him a very interesting prospect under Antonio Conte, who is able to deploy numerous systems, primarily with three-at-the-back.
“His versatility is a huge asset. He is complete, with a mix of physical and technical qualities,” legendary Club Brugge midfielder Gert Verheyen explained to Het Nieuwsblad (via Goal).
Despite his towering stature, the Belgium wonderkid has been likened to Roberto Firmino in playing style, which suggests there is more a touch of flair and skill about him than being a brute force up top.
With that in mind, he could be the sort of game-changer in attack that Conte once had at Chelsea in Eden Hazard. He played wide and in the middle for the Italian and helped contribute massively towards a Premier League title and an FA Cup too.
De Ketelaere has already racked up over 100 senior appearances and that’s earned the praise of talkSPORT’s European football expert Andy Brassell.
“He’s got loads of potential,” Brassell said on Hawksbee and Jacobs. “I’m really interested to see what he can do for the rest of the Champions League. The move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs is too soon. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, of course.”
Indeed, his 7.8 rating on SofaScore was the highest of any player, including the two goalscorers in the game and Lionel Messi (7.3) as the youngster absolutely bossed the Ligue 1 giants winning 81% of his duels, creating five key passes and managing 100% of his dribbles.
Fabio Paratici and co must look to seal the Brugge wizard in January, he could well become Conte’s new Hazard at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.