Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Tottenham Hotspur In Contention To Sign Portuguese Sensation: A Perfect Option For Conte?

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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 Record, Tottenham are among the clubs interested in the services of Joao Palhinha. The Sporting CP midfielder has become a sought-after commodity in the market, with the Londoners joined by Manchester United and Newcastle in the list of clubs keen on securing his signature. Palhinha reportedly has a release clause worth €60 million embedded in his contract, though Sporting were willing to sell him for just €30 million in January.

Joao Palhinha: What Does He Bring To The Table?

Joao Palhinha has established himself as one of Portugal’s best holding midfielders since enjoying his breakthrough at Sporting CP during the 2020/21 campaign. He even played a key role in helping the Lions sensationally seal the LIGA NOS title ahead of traditional giants SL Benfica and FC Porto.

A number six by trade, Palhinha’s combative qualities in the middle of the park has made him quite a useful asset in the second line of press. He isn’t afraid to put his body on the line and put pressure on the opposing ball carriers. He is also adept at breaking up play in midfield, which often becomes handy when facing a daunting opposition.

In addition to his defensive qualities, Palhinha is an excellent passer of the ball. He can distribute possession well and even play the role of an anchor, making him a well-rounded holding midfielder, who can even operate at centre-back, if required.

Tottenham (Palhinha)
LISBON, PORTUGAL – NOVEMBER 24: João Palhinha of Sporting CP in action during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Sporting CP and Borussia Dortmund at Estadio Jose Alvalade on November 24, 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)
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Where Does He Fit In At Tottenham?

Tottenham Hotspur’s inconsistent run of form under Antonio Conte has been devastating for the club’s ambition of finishing inside the top four. Failing to do so could result in the potential departure of star players in the summer, and it is quite apparent that even with the current team, Conte would require some rebuilding.

One of the problem areas is the midfield department, with the team lacking variety in the middle of the park. Although the Lilywhites did bring in Rodrigo Bentancur in January, the Juventus star was never a first-choice option for Conte.

To that end, the addition of someone like Joao Palhinha could be a more sensible move. The Portuguese international is a combative holding midfielder who can fill the role of Marcelo Brozovic as Conte looks to return to his tried and tested 3-5-2 next season rather than persisting with the 3-4-2-1 that has resulted in a lack of solidity in the middle.

Palhinha’s presence in midfield could allow Conte to deploy two attacking-minded midfielders. It could result in numerical superiority in the second line of press while the midfielder’s ability to deputise at centre-back could make him an even more handy option for Conte to have.

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