Tottenham Hotspur have got off to a bright start this season despite the negative cloud of uncertainty which currently looms over the club as a consequence of their delayed move into the new stadium.
A 3-1 victory over Fulham has temporarily eased concerns over Tottenham’s season as Lucas Moura, Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane produced three goals of high quality to get the better of the Cottagers. With speculation surrounding the futures of plenty of senior players, it was pleasing to see both Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen named in the starting eleven at the end of a week in which both players were linked with high-profile transfers away from the club.
Whilst there is a feeling that Alderweireld will inevitably depart the club, Eriksen’s future at Tottenham appears incredibly secure, despite reports from The Daily Express last week which claimed PSG are preparing an offer worth £100 million in order to prise him away from the club.
Eriksen is one of the most influential playmakers on the continent, so the fact a club of PSG’s size and wealth are interested in signing him arrives as no great surprise. At this moment in time there is very little, if any evidence to suggest that Eriksen is seeking a move away from Tottenham, but after 5 years with the club there’s no doubt that he is likely to seek a new challenge at some point in the future.
With that in mind, Spurs should have a contingency plan ready to implement in the event of Eriksen’s departure, and 21-year-old prodigy Ante Coric should form a key part of that plan.
The Croatia international has been widely regarded as one of the brightest young attacking midfielders in world football ever since he stepped into the first-team at Dinamo Zagreb as a 17-year-old. Between 2014 and 2018 Coric made a total of 143 appearances for the club, scoring 23 goals and providing 24 assists in the process – not bad for a player who only recently turned 21-years-of-age.
Despite his impressive development in Croatia, Coric swapped Zagreb for Roma this summer by completing a transfer to the Stadio Olimpico in a deal worth £5.4 million which surprisingly went relatively under the radar of the mainstream media. Considering the level of promise which Coric has demonstrated during his career so far, there’s no doubt Roma have completed a remarkably shrewd deal by bringing him to the club ahead of Europe’s heavyweights.
At just 5ft 6in, Coric is forced to rely on his technical quality in possession of the ball, and his style of play has naturally drawn comparisons with his compatriot Luka Modric. Like Eriksen, Coric is able to slot into a multitude of roles across an attacking midfield three, and his versatility in this regard serves to legitimise his case to replace the Denmark international.
There are very few candidates in Europe who possesses the skill-set to succeed Eriksen but, with a low centre of gravity, a willingness to dribble directly at his opponents and an incisive eye for a through ball to bring to the table, Coric is certainly one of them. Although Roma managed to sign the prodigy for just £5.4 million, a successful spell in Serie A is bound to drive his price-tag up at an exponential rate, paving the way for the Italian giants to make a substantial profit on the youngster.
Roma were wise to sign Coric whilst Dinamo Zagreb were willing to sell at such an attractive price, but the prospect of making a hefty profit on their initial investment may just help Spurs to clinch his signature if Mauricio Pochettino ultimately decides that he is up to the task of replacing Eriksen in the future.
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