According to David Ornstein, in the latest podcast of The Atheltic, Tottenham Hotspur had eyed a move for Emre Can in the recently concluded January transfer window. However, the Juventus midfielder ended up joining Borussia Dortmund in a short-term loan, though the German giants have the option to make the move permanent in the summer. In this article, however, we will discuss why Spurs could rue missing out on Can in January.
Tottenham’s woes in holding midfield
Ever since the arrival of Jose Mourinho, Tottenham Hotspur have struggled to find a reliable option in the holding midfield role. They have juggled between the likes of Eric Dier, Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko.
However, Dier’s lack of technical prowess has left Spurs lacking assurance in the build-up play while Winks has appeared mixed with his form, especially against big clubs. However, he did impress in the recent win against Manchester City. Sissoko, meanwhile, has struggled with injuries along with his compatriot Tanguy Ndombele.
Spurs did bring in Gedson Fernandes on loan. But, the Portuguese sensation has had a poor start to his Premier League career, and at such a young age, he is likely to take time settling into the fast-paced nature of English football.
The addition of Can, in that regard, could have provided Mourinho with a viable option in the number six role. The Juventus star has a considerable amount of experience in English football, having played for Liverpool for four years. Moreover, his physicality and aggression could have tuned in well with Mourinho’s pragmatic style of play at Tottenham Hotspur.
An answer to Spurs’ defensive problems
What could have potentially made Can an excellent signing for Tottenham is his versatility. The German international could have been utilised as a centre-half, where the club has struggled with consistency, with Toby Alderweireld appearing as the only reliable option.
Davinson Sanchez has lacked the quality when it comes to playing the ball out from the back while Jan Vertonghen, at the age of 32, doesn’t have the speed and mobility to solidify the Spurs backline. Meanwhile, Mourinho has appeared reluctant to utilise young defender Juan Foyth.
That’s where Can could have been useful. The 26-year-old is pretty good when it comes to distributing possession and could have become an ideal defensive partner to Alderweireld in a four-man backline.
Put simply; he could have been a better option than the young Gedson. If the Portuguese youngster fails to integrate to English football during the remainder of this campaign, Tottenham could certainly rue missing out on Can in January.