Liverpool and Tottenham will both look to bring PSV Eindhoven winger Dries Mertens to the Premier League when the transfer reopens in January according to Italian media.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic start to the new Eredivisie season. Mertens has put in a series of quality performance, scoring four goals while supplying six more in his first seven games. An undoubted star of the Dutch league the Belgian winger’s eye catching displays have not gone unnoticed in the Premier League.
A highly rated prospect in the Anderlecht youth set up he was released due to concerns about his size. A disappointing spell at Genk followed before he moved to the Dutch second division side AGOVV. Here, the Belgian international flourished and he joined Eredivisie outfit FC Utrecht in 2009.
Two impressive seasons followed and Mertens joined PSV at the start of last season. In a prolific debut season he netted 20 goals in 23 league games and announced himself as a player with the potential to perform on a bigger stage.
The winger certainly looks as though he has the tools to succeed in the Premier League. For a winger he has an impressive goal return but there is much more to his game than that. Mertens has great awareness and the vision, intelligence and ability to lay on chances for his team mates. Equally, he possesses great pace, is very direct and has a bag of tricks at his disposal which make him glide past defenders at ease.
Whoever secures is signature will have an exciting talent on their hands who if handled correctly could develop into an even bigger talent. And for the player himself both Liverpool and Spurs are an attractive proposition. Realistically both clubs will give Mertens the chance to develop and prove himself in a more demanding league.
However, with Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon first choice on either flank at White Hart Lane, a move to Anfield may be more appealing. Brendan Rodgers wants more attacking options and with Stewart Downing seemingly out of favour that has left Rodgers with young Raheem Sterling and Fabio Borini out wide. Mertens therefore has a great chance of establishing himself in the starting XI and could well go on to be a key player for the Reds.
For Mertens, the most important thing is to move to a club where he can play regularly, in one of Europe’s top leagues and prove himself. Spurs and Liverpool both meet that criteria, but if he continues to impress at PSV they may face competition from Europe’s elite.