Tottenham Hotspur are interested in a deal to bring Mohamed Simakan to north London in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by The Times, who claim that Antonio Conte, Fabio Paratici and Daniel Levy are said to be discussing the potential of a move for the RB Leipzig centre-back this winter, with the 53-year-old manager believed to be desperate to bring in defensive reinforcements ahead of the second half of the 2022/23 campaign.
And, while the club’s top transfer target in the summer transfer window, Inter Milan centre-back Alessandro Bastoni, is once again said to be of interest to Conte in January, the Premier League side are believed to view the 22-year-old Frenchman as a potential alternative to the Italy international.
While it is undeniable that Bastoni would represent a magnificent addition to Conte’s current defensive options at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Inter believed to be demanding a figure in the region of £50m in order to part with the centre-back, it is not difficult to see why Spurs are considering a move for Simakan as an alternative.
Indeed, the £35m-rated talent and Bastoni are both ball-playing defenders, with FBref ranking the RB Leipzig starlet in the top 20% of centre-backs in Europe’s big five leagues and European competitions for passes attempted per 90, as well as the top 19% for progressive passes and the top 4% for dribbles completed over the last 365 days.
The £4k-per-week starlet is also clearly a threat in the final third, with FBref ranking the 22-year-old in the top 27% for non-penalty goals per 90, as well as the top 1% for assists, the top 8% for shot-creating actions, the top 11% for touches in the opposition penalty area and the top 1% for progressive passes received over the last 12 months.
The former France U20 international also impresses in metrics more typical of his position, with FBref ranking Simakan in the top 11% of centre-backs for tackles won per 90, as well as the top 38% for interceptions and the top 42% for aerials won over the last year.
As such, considering these extraordinary returns, it is not difficult to see why the statistical database list Bastoni as one of Simakan’s most comparable players – with the Bundesliga sensation very much appearing to be a player in an extremely similar mould to that of the 16-cap Italian.
Furthermore, Jacek Kulig also rates the centre-back extremely highly, with the Football Talent Scout stating of the youngster in a post on Twitter: “One of the most underrated young defenders in Europe. Strong, fast, versatile, and very good on the ball. Complete centre-back who can also play as a right-back. Reminds me of young Lilian Thuram.”
So, should a swoop for the Inter Milan defender once again prove too difficult for Paratici and Levy to pull off this winter, a move for Simakan would appear to be an extremely wise one for Spurs to make, as the 22-year-old very much looks as if he could be Bastoni reincarnate at the back.