Thursday, January 27, 2022

Tottenham Hotspur Set To Face Competition From Liverpool For Serie A Star: Do They Need Him?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to ESPN, Liverpool have joined Tottenham in pursuit of Milan Skriniar. The Inter Milan defender has been courted by Jose Mourinho, and a move in the upcoming January transfer window could be on the cards. However, it appears Liverpool have identified him as one of the candidates in their bid to find an immediate replacement for Virgil van Dijk.

Do Tottenham Really Need A Defender?

It was surprising to see Tottenham not go after a top-class defender in the summer, despite the departure of Jan Vertonghen. They also sent Juan Foyth out on loan while only securing the services of Championship defender Joe Rodon.

As far as performances are concerned, there has been a notable improvement in Eric Dier’s form this season. The English international has emerged as a reliable outlet in defence, but doubts are still lingering over the reliability of Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez.

Alderweireld has impressed the onlookers with his excellent ball-playing qualities. However, the Belgian has struggled to provide solidity at the back. Sanchez, too, has faced similar problems despite all his pace and athleticism while Japhet Tanganga has remained injured for the most part of the campaign so far.

Therefore, it is reasonable for Jose to demand a new centre-back, who can provide support to Dier at the heart of the Tottenham backline. It could bode well for the overall depth of the side, since the Portuguese tactician has had to deploy Ben Davies in central defence in the Europa League matches.

Liverpool have joined Tottenham in pursuit of Milan Skriniar - Jose desperately needs him.
Tottenham’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho speaks to journalists ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group G football match between Royal Antwerp and Tottenham Hotspur at the Bosuilstadion in Antwerp on October 29, 2020. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Is Skriniar The Perfect Option?

Skriniar is regarded as one of the best defenders in Serie A, having had remarkable success during the ongoing spell at Inter Milan. He has already made 130 competitive appearances for the club, building a strong foundation alongside Stefan de Vrij.

This season, however, Skriniar’s progress has been marred by the Coronavirus that has seen him miss the last three league matches. But, it is fair to suggest that the Slovakian international is indeed a top-quality defender, who can potentially solve Mourinho’s defensive woes at Tottenham.

What makes Skriniar such an appealing target for Spurs is his ball-playing qualities. Much like Alderweireld, the 25-year-old is an efficient passer of the ball and is capable of finding those long diagonal balls that could become very handy at Tottenham, who boast the services of offensive runners like Son Heung-Min and Lucas Moura.

But more importantly, Skriniar is a fantastic defender, who can not only provide pace into the Spurs backline but can also cut off opposition’s passing lanes with his ability to read the game. He also has a lot of experience at the highest level of football, and at the age of 25, the Inter Milan star could be a smart long-term investment for the Lilywhites.

So it will be interesting to see how Mourinho’s men look to tussle Liverpool in pursuit of Skriniar this January, although it is fair to point out that the club might not be able to afford the defender’s hefty price-tag at the moment.

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