Tottenham’s perfect start to the Premier League season came to an end at the hands of Watford on Sunday.
Spirits were high after Mauricio Pochettino’s men won their opening three fixtures which included a memorable 3-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford. Watford had also won their opening games but fell behind when Abdoulaye Doucoure put the ball in his own net. However, goals from Troy Deeney and Craig Cathcart ensured the Hornets left Vicarage Road with all three points.
Pochettino will be disappointed with the display and the performance of Mousa Dembele in particular. The Belgian struggled to impose himself on the game and was caught in possession far too frequently. With just ten months remaining on his contract and rumours continuing to swirl over a switch to China, his time in the Premier League could be coming to an end.
To replace him, Tottenham must make a move for Ajax wonderkid – Frenkie de Jong. Valued at £6.3m by Transfermarkt, the 21-year-old is widely regarded as one of the hottest prospects emerging from the Netherlands. He joined Ajax back in 2015 and has since become a key player for the Dutch side, making 22 Eredivisie appearances last season.
De Jong is a natural centre-midfielder who can also play in a deeper role making him the perfect partner for Harry Winks in the Tottenham midfield. The Dutchman would also help take the creative burden from Christian Eriksen’s shoulders as he averaged 1.5 key passes per game last year and ended the season with seven assists. De Jong also loves to get stuck in and doesn’t neglect his defensive duties, averaging 1.7 tackles per game last year – no Tottenham midfielder managed more (WhoScored).
Barcelona are reportedly long-term admirers of the youngster but he would find regular game time by moving to North London after Barca landed Arturo Vidal in the summer. Working with Pochettino could also be ideal for his development and give Tottenham the advantage in the race for his signature.
With money available after a quiet summer, De Jong must be made a priority in January.
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