Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi on his transfer ‘wish list’, says reliable journalist Alasdair Gold.
The Lowdown: Conte’s centre-back pursuit
Before the summer transfer window opened, the Lilywhites boss was touted with an interest in a whole host of different central defenders.
According to The Athletic, Josko Gvardiol of RB Leipzig and Alessandro Bastoni of Inter Milan were the Italian’s top choices; two players who are among Europe’s best on the left side of a back three.
However, Spurs are still yet to bring in a left-sided centre-back on a permanent deal. Instead, they seem to have momentarily settled on Clement Lenglet, who arrived at Hotspur Way on a season-long loan from Barcelona.
The Latest: Gold’s claim
“Spurs absolutely love him and I reported earlier in the summer that the 22-year-old was one of the names on their centre-back wish list. He plays mainly on the left of central defence where Tottenham now have Davies and Lenglet, although the latter can play in the centre if required.
“I just wonder whether the price that Palace would ask for the England international, who has a deal until 2026, would prove to be prohibitive and whether they’d even allow him to leave this year.
“Spurs will look for another centre-back if Rodon and/or Tanganga depart in the weeks ahead but I wonder if Guehi would may be one for next summer when I’m sure a number of teams will look at him after the World Cup.”
The Verdict: Great potential
When looking at the 22-year-old’s underlying stats, his huge potential is clear to see.
Compared with positional peers across Europe over the past year, Guehi ranks in the top 22 percent for passes and dribbles (via FBRef), displaying the type of ball-playing abilities the elite clubs expect from their defenders.
He has also been hailed as ‘an absolute tank’ by England U21 teammate Josef Bursik, so would seemingly have no trouble with the physical demands Conte places upon his squad.
Having featured in 36 Premier League games last season, Patrick Vieira’s immense trust in the youngster should also say a lot – Wwth such great potential, it’s easy to see why this would be a brilliant long-term signing for Conte.
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