Tottenham Hotspur failed to delve into the transfer market during the summer window but the players they did flirt with signing hinted at a policy which values youth over experience.
The widely-documented pursuit of Jack Grealish served to demonstrate Tottenham’s desire to build for the future by signing promising young players, as did their rumoured interest in both Anthony Martial and Tanguy Ndombele. With that attitude in mind, it’s likely that Spurs will allow Mousa Dembele’s contract to run down next summer and turn their attention towards the future with a forward-thinking signing.
Dembele has been a loyal servant to the club since he signed from Fulham in 2012, but murmurs emerging from the club appear to suggest that he is lining up a move away from north London, and with less than 1-year remaining on his current deal it’s likely that Pochettino will need to sign a replacement next summer.
Although he does not possess the same level of physical power which the Belgium international can boast in abundance, Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl should be under intense consideration to step into Dembele’s shoes following his inevitable departure.
The 22-year-old defensive midfielder is regarded as one of the most promising talents in German football, although he is yet to establish himself as a regular with the national side. After becoming 1860 Munich’s youngest ever captain at just 18-years-of-age it was abundantly clear that a future star was in the making, but his time with Bayern Munich’s local-rival did not last too much longer after he was handed the captain’s armband.
Weigl completed a switch to high-flying Borussia Dortmund in 2015 for a fee of just £2.25 million – an absolute steal considering his huge scope for improvement. Since he arrived at the Westfalenstadion Weigl has continued to develop and has established himself as a first-team regular. However, the arrival of Axel Witsel this summer has increased the competition for a starting berth, and a lack of first-team football could ultimately drive his asking price down this season, even if the German giants would still make a huge profit from his sale.
Weigl is certainly not famed for possessing a commanding physical presence as his technical quality, excellent range of passing and intelligent reading of the game enable him to thrive whilst pivoting the midfield. Despite his lean frame, Weigl is a tough tackler and is not one to shy away from a physical encounter.
The fact he averaged at almost 3 tackles per game last season serves to prove that notion and, with extra focus on strength training, he could develop into one of the Premier League’s best defensive midfielders.
There’s no doubt Weigl would command a price well above the £2.25 million Dortmund managed to sign him for in 2015, but his arrival would follow the pattern of Tottenham’s progressive philosophy and would ease the burden associated with Dembele’s departure, so Daniel Levy would be foolish not to fork out to secure his signature next summer.
Tottenham fans – thoughts? Let us know below!