If reports are to be believed, Borussia Dortmund defender Matthias Ginter has snubbed offers from Tottenham Hotspur, preferring a move to Borussia Monchengladbach. The deal could be finalised in the coming days, meaning Spurs lose out to yet another defensive signing this summer. So we take a look at three alternatives to Matthias Ginter that Spurs should really be looking for.
1. Jonathan Tah – Bayer Leverkusen
Born in the city of Hamburg, Jonathan Tah is one of the brightest young prospects of Germany at the moment. Tah flourished with Dusseldorf in the 2.Liga and his performances didn’t go unnoticed by Bayer Leverkusen, in the summer of 2015. Since then, Leverkusen didn’t have to look back as Tah has been a vital part of Die Werkself defence alongside Omer Toprak. Tah’s performances in his very first season were amazing, to say the least, and last season he was still one of Leverkusen’s best players despite a mediocre season.
Standing at 6 foot 3 inches, Jonathan Tah can be highly intimidating for the attackers. His rather tall figure lends him an extra advantage in aerial battles, in fact, it’s perhaps his strongest asset as a defender. Tah has 59% of his 78 headed duels this season which is quite impressive. Despite suffering from injuries throughout the course of last season and featuring in just 19, the former Hamburg defender, still managed to make 62 clearances and an impressive 49 interceptions(more than Ginter’s 40, who also played 29 games). That’s more than 3 clearances and almost 3 interceptions per game, meaning he averages at least six defensive actions per game compared to Ginter’s paltry four.
There’s no doubt Jonathan Tah could be a better option for Tottenham Hotspur but the fact that he is just 21, makes him highly unlikely that he would start every game for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. Nonetheless, Spurs could definitely try to go all out for the Leverkusen centre-back. It would, however, cost a lot to bring in Jonathan Tah as he could be worth around 25 or even 35m euros.
2. Willi Orban – RB Leipzig
Willi Orban has been one of the most improved defenders in the Bundesliga for the last few years. The RB Leipzig defensive stalwart, who has played a pivotal part in the Easterner’s rise to the Bundesliga, is someone Tottenham should really target upon. Orban has been an ever-present figure in the Leipzig team. For example, he was one of only two players, alongside Marcel Sabitzer to start every game for Die Roten Bullen in their successful bid for promotion in the 2.Liga. Put simply, Willi Orban is the cornerstone of RB Leipzig defence.
Orban is a very clinical defender, who can give his all for the team. He generally stays extremely busy in the defensive department, where he made at least eight defensive actions per game. Way more than Tah and Ginter. His heading ability also outperforms the enormous figure of Tah with an astonishing headed duel won ratio of 65% in 117 headed duels whilst also making 148 clearances and 65 interceptions in 28 games last season.
He is on the back of good season with RB Leipzig and the 24-year-old might cost around 15-20m euros if in any case, Leipzig want to sell the defender.
3. Benjamin Hubner – TSG Hoffenheim
Last but not the least, it’s Benjamin Hubner of TSG Hoffenheim who makes our list for the top three Bundesliga alternatives. Hubner also had a good season with Hoffenheim and just like Willi Orban, his side also managed to seal Champions League place last season(albeit a playoff spot). He is a very solid defender, who first showed his glimpses at FC Ingolstadt, in the 2015-16 season. Last season he switched to Hoffenheim and there, he has become one of their defensive mainstays along with departing Niklas Sule.
Amongst all the other defenders in the list, including Matthias Ginter, Hubner has the best-headed duels won ratio with 70%! He staggeringly won 66 of his 94 aerial battles last season and he doesn’t stop there. Hubner is a very clever defender and has the ability to play out the ball from the back as well. He has a greater pass completion rate in this list with 87% and has also made the most number of interceptions with 80, that’s nearly four interceptions per game. Hubner executes a high defensive line under manager Julian Nagelsmann and still manages almost three clearances per game. He even beats Niklas Sule in making the most number of defensive actions than any other TSG player(7 per game).
At 27 years of age, Benjamin Hubner might not be the youngest player on this list but the smartest of all nonetheless. He just signed a long-term contract with Hoffenheim last season and it’s highly unlikely that he will move elsewhere. However, we believe he won’t cost that much if any big club were to be interested in the former Ingolstadt defender.
All stats are taken from Squawka.
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