Dele Alli’s future at Tottenham Hotspur is rather dubious.
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will step up his efforts to sign the 24-year-old for new club Paris Saint-Germain this transfer window.
It’s claimed that the out-of-favour midfielder is Pochettino’s no.1 target whilst Alli himself is keen for regular game time, though the north Londoners are reluctant to let him depart.
Spurs still remain in all cup competitions and aren’t too far behind in the title race, so will need squad depth over what will be a hectic few months of fixtures.
Though, ahead of the transfer window, the Premier League side were linked with a potential replacement for Alli in the form of on-loan Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie.
Calciomercato believe the American powerhouse is a ‘solution’ for Jose Mourinho, but one major stumbling block remains as the Serie A outfit can pull the trigger on his loan spell from Schalke 04 for just €18.5m (£16.5m) plus bonuses, which would take the overall transaction to €25m (£22.5m) with the loan fee included.
This shouldn’t deter Spurs though, they must keep an eye on the situation going forward as yes, they could replace Alli if he were to become available, but in doing so, they may well unearth another Mousa Dembele type.
It’s well-known that Mourinho wants a dynamic box-to-box maestro this month, as revealed by the Sunday Times’ Duncan Castles. And that’s where McKennie fits like a glove.
The 22-year-old is adept at playing anywhere through the middle – Bundesliga.com once compared him to Arturo Vidal, claiming the all-rounder “can deliver the goods as a No. 6, 8, or 10.”
Whilst former Huddersfield and Schalke boss David Wagner’s glowing endorsement of the 6 foot 1 enforcer is also hugely encouraging, he said:
“He’s an outstanding talent. In the No.6 or No.8 position he has the mentality, a real working mentality that you need. And he’s brave on the ball as well. He can be one of the best midfielders in the Bundesliga.”
Indeed, McKennie has proven to be a rare breed of midfielder, one that can influence the game at either end of the pitch – defensively, he’s averaged 1.4 tackles and 0.8 interceptions per game, which are two key attributes tied to an anchorman heralding the backline, whilst in attack, he has averaged 0.9 shots and 0.9 key passes per game this term, via WhoScored.
It means he is getting far enough forward to create chances for his strikers as well as having a pop himself.
Across 19 appearances, McKennie has contributed towards five goals, which is a great return considering Spurs duo Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso have only hit that number between them in the Premier League when playing a very similar role.
A lack of a true no.10 in Mourinho’s formation is another reason to why Alli is pretty much void of a place right now, and having played just 74 minutes in the top-flight all season, it would be wise to move him on.
Throughout Dembele’s career, he has averaged 2.1 tackles, one interception, 1.1 key passes and 0.8 shots per game, via WhoScored, so you can see why one might draw an instant comparison between McKennie and the former Spurs man.
Given the Juventus loanee is only 22, he has plenty of time to elevate himself onto such a level, which could well be achieved at Spurs.
If Mourinho is worried about letting Alli go, then he should try and tempt McKennie into a switch to north London. Evidently, he’d be a good candidate in the exact role he’s looking for.
AND in other news, Levy can repeat Reguilon masterstroke with a swoop for “phenomenal talent”…