Analysing Tottenham Hotspurs' chance in the January transfer window
Tottenham Hotspur transfer policy has been one that has frustrated fans for many previous years. Last minute deals, bargain hunting, and bad decisions have caused supporters to question Daniel Levy's policy on acquiring new talent.
This article will outline various players that should enhance Tottenham's chance of success for this current season and the future.
The main position that Tottenham has the least depth in central midfield, with Oliver Skipp and Harry Winks being the only fully fit members after Sissoko's injury against Manchester United on Sunday.
This piece will cover five options, which include my 'star signing,' with four other more realistic options.
This player has captured the eye of several top clubs through Europe, with impressive performances in the Champions League and Ligue 1. Tanguy Ndombele is an apparent target for Manchester City, PSG, and Everton due to his performances this season.
Although he has four assists and two goals this season, yet it is his off the ball work that has captured the eye of football clubs.
He has an XGchain of 0.44 per 90 in the league, with an XGBuildup of 0.38 per 90, which are very impressive. To compare Moussa Dembele had ratings of 0.45 and 0.43 last season, which puts Ndombele in a very good position for transitional play. Partnered with an average of 2.5 dribbles per game, it is easy to understand the hype behind the 22-year-old .
This is obviously a great amount for a club to pay that are currently building a new stadium, and several outstanding loans to facilitate this, but Ndombele almost guarantees to be a success, with fans definitely viewing this as money well spent.
The realistic options
The chances of Ndombele signing for Spurs are slim when European giants like PSG are involved, so below are two more realistic signings that will be discussed, that could still improve the talent within the squad.
Amadou Diawara is a 21-year-old Guinea national playing for Napoli. He has made 6 starts this season in Seria A, plus 4 appearances off the bench, showing he is not quite a first team player, but still can make an impact when needed. Understat values show that he his build-up play is good, with an outstanding XGBuildup per 90 of 0.89 and an XGChain of 0.95 per 90, showing how he has been key to moving the ball forward in his performances this season. These values are higher than Moussa Sissoko this season (0.45 and 0.53 respectively) and Mousa Dembele last season (0.43 and 0.45), proving Diawara's proficiency in this.
Using this data, it is clear Diawara would suit a defensive transitional role - similar to Dembele, that can also aid the team without possession. Comparing him to Eric Dier, his tackles per 90 are less coming in at 1.1 per 90, with Dier averaging 1.8, before he got injured. Although Diawara is not as proficient within his tackling, he still boasts respectable numbers with extraordinary numbers for his build-up play, fully capable of aiding this thin position of the squad. Furthermore, Transfermarkt values him at £14m, which would probably not rise all that much, due to his game time this season, showing a very possible signing for the club.
The next more realistic signing is Wilfred Ndidi from Leicester, aged 22. While Ndombele and Diawara are more suited to transitional play, Ndidi is a more traditional defensive midfielder, more akin to the Wanyama/Dier role. Making 22 appearances in the league this season, he makes a very good 3.1 tackles and 1.9 interceptions per 90, helping Leicester to 8th in the league. In addition to this, Ndidi is definitely one of the main factors in helping Leicester be the best defensive team outside of the top four at the time of writing, showcasing his talent in this.
On the other hand, the 6-foot tall defensive midfielder does hold lower ratings for his transitional play, but his defensive numbers more than make-up for this. This style of play could certainly help Tottenham with their high-pressing fullbacks, in allowing them to maintain defensive solidarity while controlling the ball.
Transfermarkt holds his value at £31m, which would be less than the potential value Tottenham would have to pay, due to his impact on Leicester performances so far. On the other hand, paying upwards of £30m for a proven Premier League player does not hold that much of a risk at all, considering Levy spent around this value on Sissoko. Ndidi would be a very smart move for Tottenham to make, with relatively low risk coming with him due to his Premier League experience. He would give Tottenham the stability they need due to the injuries they have too many key players already, while also proving a youthful edge when considering Sissoko is 29, and Dembele and Wanyama being over 30.
Overall, Ndidi seems to be the best choice to have the best positive impact at Tottenham, due to his immense defensive stats. In addition to this, the likelihood of this transfer happening over Ndombele is significantly more, due to price, wage and international recognition. While Diawara would be a great addition to the squad, the uncertainty due to the minutes he has played, with the fact he has no Premier League experience makes him slightly too big of a risk for a mid-season transfer.
Other potential targets
Having covered what I believe to be Tottenham's most needed transfer, the segment below will also cover another position Tottenham should improve.
For the past few seasons, the Striker position is one that Tottenham have not really adequately covered, with Soldado, Jannsen and most recently Llorente being Kane's second. Son has often filled in to do a relatively good job, but even so, the team still lack the second striker to help unburden Kane in scoring goals for the club.
Both of my options are from Bournemouth since English Football experience is key to this signing, due to the potential lack of minutes at Spurs. Callum Wilson and Joshua King are both fast attackers, that have contributed significantly to Bournemouth performances this season.
King has made 19 appearances in the league this season, scoring five goals and assisting twice, presenting relatively decent numbers with the entire team scoring 31 goals this season. He is more versatile than Wilson, being able to play off either wing, making almost 2 dribbles per game. While his stats are not going to set the world alight, the 27-year-old presents a versatile, inexpensive alternative, that could be capable of stepping into the attacking line.
Callum Wilson would be the better choice to join the Tottenham squad, scoring nine and assisting five in his 20 appearances this footballing year. He is a quick striker that could offer something different due to this, with the clinical finishing needed to be a top Striker. Expected goals have him at 9.41, showing he is performing where expected for the club. He is valued at £22m, but will probably cost at least £30m, which is not unreasonable considering the guaranteed goals he brings.
Callum Wilson is a player that Tottenham should really focus on signing as he presents a vastly different alternative to Kane, that would aid us greatly. Furthermore, the idea of pairing him with Kane is one that could be devasting, due to the world-class finishing of the England Captain, plus the rapid acceleration of Wilson.