Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly monitoring Sao Paulo defensive midfielder Pablo Maia ahead of the January transfer window.
The Lowdown: Defensive midfielder wanted
Spurs conceded 21 goals in their opening 15 games of the Premier League season, and have the 10th best defensive record despite sitting in fourth (Premier League), suggesting that their defence is not getting enough protection from the midfielders sitting in front of them.
Thus, strengthening in that position could well be on the cards in January.
The Latest: Maia monitored
Co-writing in his piece for 90min, transfer expert Graeme Bailey has revealed that the North London club are monitoring Maia’s development at Sao Paulo, while London rivals Fulham have already had a bid rejected for the Brazilian.
Another London rival West Ham United have also held talks with Sao Paulo over a deal for Maia, although both clubs are yet to agree on the structure of a possible move.
The Hammers would ideally like to loan Maia first with a view to a permanent move, but Sao Paulo’s preference is to sanction a permanent deal for the 20-year-old straight away in January.
The Verdict: Get it done
Lauded as a ‘Mini-Casemiro‘ by Football Talent Scout Jacek Kulig, in comparison to the five-time UEFA Champions League winner, Kulig also lists Maia’s strengths as ‘passing, vision, tackling, positioning, anticipation, work rate’, many qualities that should ensure that he would thrive in the Premier League.
He ranks in the 96th percentile for pass completion, 90th for blocks and 85th for aerial duels won per match for all defensive midfielders outside of Europe’s top five leagues over the last year (FBRef), which is even more impressive considering that he is only 20.
Nonetheless, Maia certainly has a bright future, and the Lilywhites could really benefit from doing a deal so early on in his career.
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