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Tottenham: Creative midfielder still targeted

Tottenham: Creative midfielder still targeted -Tottenham Hotspur News

Tottenham Hotspur could target another playmaker after missing out on Christian Eriksen, according to Dan Kilpatrick of The Evening Standard.

The lowdown

It emerged on Monday that the Denmark international has verbally agreed to join Manchester United, with a three-year contract now being put together. This will come as a blow to Spurs, with The Athletic‘s Charlie Eccleshare having reported in mid-June that an N17 reunion with the midfielder was ‘fairly likely’ at one stage.

Eriksen had previously played for Spurs between 2013 and 2020, scoring 69 goals and providing 90 assists across 305 appearances.

The Dane certainly fits the ‘playmaker’ bill, having recorded the third-highest expected assist per 90 average in the 2021/22 Premier League during his short-term stint at Brentford.

The latest

The Evening Standard‘s chief football correspondent Kilpatrick reported that Spurs could still look to bring in a player in that mould.

However, that playmaker candidate is unlikely to be free agent Jesse Lingard though, with the north London club playing down interest in the 29-year-old.

The verdict

Do Spurs have a problem with creativity in their squad?

To be fair, they did rank fourth in the Premier League last season for expected goals, which shows that they’re creating a decent volume of scoring chances (via Understat).

However, their total of 67.95 was still some way down on champions Manchester City (93.4) and runners-up Liverpool (93.02), and those are the teams with whom they hope to compete.

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What’s more, Spurs’ existing midfield options don’t particularly stand out when it comes to creating opportunities. Rodrigo Bentancur ranks in the 65th percentile among positional peers for xA, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is in the 49th and Yves Bissouma is in the 21st.

Perhaps Antonio Conte wants to be able to carve out chances from different areas of the pitch.

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