Sunday, November 27, 2022

Tottenham Hotspur Listed As A Potential Suitor For This Serie A Defender: Dream Signing For Mourinho?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Il Mattino, Tottenham Hotspur have been listed as a potential suitor for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly this summer. The same source has also mentioned that Spurs are pursuing the Senegalese defender ‘with great insistence’ but will face competition from Liverpool in the race to secure his services during the summer transfer window.

It is understood that any potential transfer is not ‘up to the player’ because he will need to find a club that will match Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis’ demands. The player will likely ask for a contract worth more than the €6m/year he is currently making in Italy (via Il Mattino).

Koulibaly’s Sparkling Form Despite Some Injury Concerns At Naples

The France-born powerhouse has experienced an injury-plagued campaign at Naples which has disrupted his progress in the Serie A. Despite his injury problems, Koulibaly deserves credit for putting in several commanding displays at the centre of Gennaro Gattuso’s defence. He has made a total of 21 appearances for the Italian outfit this term, earning 1757 minutes of playing time in the process while picking up five cautions across all fronts.

The Senegalese international has been mostly consistent with his defensive contributions this season after averaging 2.5 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 3.5 clearances in every 90 minutes of football in the Italian top tier and the UEFA Champions League (stats via whoscored). His stats justify why the Napoli fans love him so much and prove just how influential he can be at the heart of the Serie A club’s backline.

The 28-year-old is the current captain of the Senegalese national team, having secured 33 senior caps and one goal for his homeland thus far. Koulibaly managed to inspire his international teammates to a solid second-place finish in the 2019 African Cup of Nations. Hence, he will be expected to play a vital role for his country when the prestigious tournament takes place next year.

Tottenham Hotspur listed as a potential suitor for Kalidou Koulibaly who is clapping in the picture
Napoli’s Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly applauds the fans following the UEFA Champions League Group E football match between Liverpool and Napoli at Anfield in Liverpool, north-west England on November 27, 2019. – The match ended in a draw at 1-1. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The Senegalese International Bring To North London?

Koulibaly can effectively use his sturdy frame to overpower the opposition in the air when being bombarded with crosses by the opposition from the wide areas. He is a dominant presence inside his penalty box and is always willing to put his body on the line when attempting to clear the danger at the back. The Senegalese defensive ace can also be a decent target from dead-ball situations in the attacking third.

He can time his tackles to perfection that allows him to make some crucial interceptions for his team. However, there are some question marks over his long-term health based on his injury-ravaged campaign at Naples so far.

Will Koulibaly Be A Dream Acquisition For The North London Giants?

When fit and firing on all cylinders, Koulibaly can be one of the best defenders in Europe, so Spurs will do well to bring him to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this summer. He ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Jose Mourinho demands from his centre-backs. The Napoli first-teamer could potentially form a devastating defensive partnership with Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld at North London if he decides to join Mourinho’s revolution in this off-season.

Koulibaly will not only enhance the quality of the Tottenham starting XI but also help them compete for some major silverware in the coming seasons. With all things considered, he will be a dream signing for Spurs if they can successfully win the chase for his signature before the start of the new campaign.

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