Despite making it through to the prestigious Champions League final last season, Tottenham’s form degraded significantly since the inception of the ongoing campaign. The dismal run resulted in Mauricio Pochettino’s dismissal, but the Lilywhites are still struggling to gather momentum amid form and fitness concerns.
Jose Mourinho, the current Spurs chief, has brought the North Londoners back in the European hunt whereas the management is already identifying new names to bolster the squad prior to the upcoming term. A few rumours are already making the headlines including a report published by the Express Sport linking them to a potential summer swoop for Chris Smalling and Vedat Muriqi.
Why A Move For Smalling Makes No Sense
Smalling, a familiar face in the English circuit, has regained his reputation at AS Roma where he is enjoying a productive stint since being offloaded by Manchester United on a season-long loan. The 30-year-old Three Lions international has made his presence known in Rome and has been more consistent in deep defence compared to Spurs’ Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen or Davinson Sanchez.
Smalling has played under Mourinho during their United days. Yet, a move for the centre-half should not be pursued considering the high asking fee (of around £17m) and his mediocre performances in Premier League. They should instead go for a younger option who could form a lethal partnership alongside Sanchez for years to come and serve the club as an able alternative of Alderweireld who has been a great contributor during their purple patch.
Why Muriqi Would Be A Smart Deal For Tottenham
Although Spurs are highly dependant on Harry Kane high up the pitch, injuries have troubled the homegrown ‘number 9’ of late and Mourinho, too, has lamented his absence, highlighting their lack of firepower in the attacking line. Heung-min Son, Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela along with new signing Steven Bergwijn – all have proved their worth as wide attacking options. However, they lack an outright goalscorer to challenge and cover Kane with highly-rated Troy Parrott failing to earn the manager’s attention yet.
Muriqi, meanwhile, has been prolific this season at Fenerbahce and holds better numbers compared to Kane while spearheading the attack (yes, we are aware of the usual caveats). He has scored 13 goals in 23 appearances, compared to the Englishman’s 11 (in 20 outings), also registered more assists (4, Kane got 2), shots per game (3.8, Kane has 2.8), better passing accuracy (70.6, compared to the latter’s 67.2) and more aerial duels (4.9 with respect to Kane’s 2.8 per outing).
All these statistics do not make the Kosovo international a better centre-forward but, at the same time, highlight his mastery in finding the target having proved the same in one of Europe’s most competitive and aggressive football leagues.
Stats via Whoscored.
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