Saturday, September 30, 2023

Tottenham Hotspur Face Stiff Competition For This Serie A Defender: Right Fit For Conte?

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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.

In a recent report, Sport mentioned that Tottenham Hotspur are facing stiff competition for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. It is understood that Spurs will have to rival Barcelona, Chelsea and Juventus in pursuit of the Senegal international.

Koulibaly’s Impressive Form In Italian Football This Season

Koulibaly has been a rock at the back for the Naples outfit over the past few years. The 30-year-old has registered three goals and three assists in 34 matches for the Italian club this season across all fronts.

The France-born talent has been a dominant presence on the defensive end of the field based on his average of 1.4 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 3.1 clearances per 90 minutes in Serie A.

He has even taken care of possession when playing his way out from the back, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 86.9% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Tottenham Hotspur (Kalidou Koulibaly)
NAPLES, ITALY – APRIL 30: Kalidou Koulibaly of SSC Napoli during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and US Sassuolo at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on April 30, 2022 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
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Is Koulibaly The Right Fit For Tottenham Hotspur?

Koulibaly can use his strong 1.87m frame to dominate the opposition attackers in the air and can make some solid tackles to earn the ball back for his side on the defensive third of the field. He usually clears the danger when at risk of being caught out at the back and is a tidy passer of the ball as well from the back.

However, there are some concerns over whether the Senegalese sensation can maintain his good form in the English capital where he might struggle to adapt to the high intensity of Premier League football.

At 30, Koulibaly still has a few good seasons left in him which makes him a decent fit for Tottenham to consider this summer. He will add a lot of bite and steel to Antonio Conte‘s defence and could serve as an upgrade over Eric Dier who has sometimes been inconsistent with his performances at the North London club this season.

Koulibaly will no doubt be a massive signing for Spurs if they can get a deal over the line for him in this off-season. The Senegal international could even help Conte’s side challenge for a major trophy or two over the next few years.

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