According to The Times, Everton have joined Tottenham Hotspur in pursuit of Zeki Celik. The LOSC Lille fullback has been identified as one of Jose Mourinho’s preferred targets as he looks to add more competition in the right-back unit. However, Everton have also joined the race to sign Celik this summer, who is valued at around €20 million.
What is Zeki Celik all about?
Celik has established himself as an ever-present figure in the LOSC Lille backline following his €2.5 million move from Istanbulspor in 2018. He has already featured in 68 competitive matches for the French outfit while also winning 14 caps for the Turkish national team.
A right-back by trade, Celik is primarily known for his tenacity and eagerness to win back possession for his team. The defender has notably attempted almost four tackles per game in the recent Ligue 1 campaign. He isn’t afraid to commit himself into challenges, which is commendable for a fullback.
However, what makes Celik such an appealing right-back is his ability to get forward. The Turkish international can effortlessly march forward and provide crosses from the byline. He has come up with 15 key passes in just 23 Ligue 1 matches while completing 26 interceptions.
Additionally, the Lille star has attempted 1.5 dribbles per game with a success rate of around 50%. These are decent statistics for any fullback, especially at the highest level of football.
How can Celik fit into Spurs?
Celik’s aggressive style of play and impressive decision making are promising characteristics for any defender playing under the leadership of Mourinho. Indeed, those qualities could not only help him thrive in the physically astute and high-paced nature of the Premier League but also in the tactical philosophy of the Portuguese mastermind.
Additionally, the fact that the 23-year-old can make an impression with his forays down the flank could significantly add more bite into Spurs’ approach play. It also makes him an ideal alternative to Serge Aurier, who has provided the offensive support but has lacked the defensive discipline.
Celik’s €20 million price-tag also makes him a cost-effective alternative to other profile options available in the market, including the likes of Max Aarons. It could bode well, especially for a Tottenham side who, like most other European clubs, have suffered economically due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Therefore, Celik is indeed a viable target for Tottenham Hotspur as they look to add the much-needed reinforcements in the right-back department. However, it remains to be seen whether or not they can compete with Everton in the chase for the player.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored
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