Tottenham Hotspur may swoop for AS Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo in next summer’s transfer window, according to Calciomercato.
The attacking midfielder was heavily involved for Roma at the start of the season but has not started either of their last two matches (via Transfermarkt), while there was apparently some light ‘bickering’ with his manager, former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho, in training last week.
Zaniolo is yet to register a goal or an assist this season but he is certainly a highly-rated talent. Roma legend Daniele de Rossi marvelled at the 22-year-old’s ‘incredible natural physique’ and backed him to become ‘a great player’.
According to FBRef, he boasts a similar statistical profile to Wolves’ Adama Traore, Brighton’s Leandro Trossard and in particular Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.
With Zaniolo an unused substitute for Roma’s 2-0 victory over Genoa on Sunday, alarm bells are ringing and his future is in doubt.
As per Calciomercato, there have apparently been ‘several’ approaches already, ‘especially’ from Juventus.
The report noted that Zaniolo’s contract runs until 2024 and revealed that he’s currently valued at around €40m, equating to £33.5m. That’s a sum which could well ‘intrigue’ Tottenham.
What made Mourinho’s snub all the more significant was that he turned to 18-year-old Felix Afena Gyan rather than Zaniolo when assessing his options. In fairness, the teenager did go on to score two goals, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a damning decision without the benefit of hindsight.
He continues to pose a threat in the final third, averaging 2.2 shots and 2.2 successful dribbles per game in Serie A. Those returns would put him third and second in Tottenham’s squad respectively, highlighting how transformative he could be to their attack.
Indeed, now might actually be a good time to invest in Serie A’s one-time Young Player of the Year. He might not be on top form, but he has just returned from a serious injury and he may soon remind the footballing world of his abilities, considerably increasing his price tag in the process.
In other news, read Fabrizio Romano’s claim regarding Antonio Conte
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