With the Standard reporting that Tottenham Hotspur have registered an interest in Hoffenheim fullback Jeremy Toljan, fans will be wondering what the Germany under-21 player would bring to Hotspur Way ahead of a potential move.
For a start, the 22-year-old (eligible for the Germany under-21s through his date of birth) would be a versatile addition to the squad. Able to play on either flank, Toljan would add further depth, but especially at right-back, where Kieran Trippier now appears to be first choice after Kyle Walker’s departure.
The only other option at right-back would be academy product Kyle Walker-Peters, who has shown promise on the pre-season tour of the United States, but realistically is one or two years off being a first-team regular.
The German would thus provide manager Mauricio Pochettino with an alternative to Trippier – who is occasionally lamented for defensive frailties – or to provide rotation given Spurs’ European commitments and domestic cups, which they must look to compete seriously in this year.
Toljan’s more dynamic offensive play would also make him a better stylistic fit than Trippier. Walker’s attacking output was emphasised throughout the season and, while Trippier is a good crosser of the ball, he doesn’t make the same overlapping runs as Walker or, on the opposite flank, Danny Rose.
Toljan is a better fit for a system that demands width from its full-backs, and given the width of the Wembley pitch this could be key in unlocking sterner defences. At 22 years of age, the German would not be expected to be anywhere near as good as Walker, but he has the potential to develop his game in these areas, especially under a world class coach like Pochettino.
Defensively, the full-backs won’t be tested against minor opposition, but with the likes of Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez and Sadio Mane at the bigger clubs, Toljan will need to use every ounce of his ability to contain these attacking talents – an experience that will surely make him a better player.
The signing of Tolja, who is available for as little as £3.1 million, according to the Standard, would also avoid delving too deep into the limited funds Spurs have, given their new stadium.
The £50 million brought in by the sale of Kyle Walker would also remain largely intact, leaving Spurs over £45 million to spend on other players. This could mean adding Ross Barkley to the squad, as Everton manager Ronald Koeman has announced he expects Barkley to leave, as per ESPN.
Lack of depth in key positions is what ultimately cost Spurs the league last season, though it also hinders their ability to compete effectively on multiple fronts. If the Walker-money is reinvested, Spurs could add serious depth to their squad.
There are always fears over a foreign players’ ability to adapt to the physicality and the pace of the Premier League, but such fears may be unfounded with Toljan. After all, he has come from one of Europe’s truly elite leagues, in the Bundesliga, having faced the attacks of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and, this season, RB Leipzig.
He also has international experience at every youth level, and impressed as the Germany under-21s won the European Championship this summer – beating England in the semi finals.
At 22, he should be strong enough to cope with the physical demands of the league in a way that the younger Kyle Walker-Peters perhaps isn’t yet. Finally, with a stalwart of the German game retiring this season – Philip Lahm – it stands that the German national team will be looking at a new full-back.
Perhaps a move to one of England’s top clubs could help Toljan to obtain that place ahead of the 2018 World Cup, thus making Spurs an increasingly attractive destination, and one that would favour all parties.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen could be one of Premier League’s greatest ever bargains
Christian Eriksen is getting better by the season and cost Spurs just £11.5 million.
This week has seen Arsenal legend Martin Keown singing the praises of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen. Speaking on BBC One’s Match of the Day (18th March) Keown stated:
“This player was always technically proficient, but he’s getting better all the time. It’s top level ability. He can pick a pass whenever he wants to. He just has everything.
“I enjoy watching him play. He wants to work, that’s part of the team ethic. He’s becoming the brains of the team.”
His comments came after Eriksen starred in the weekend win v Swansea City. The Dane scored twice as Tottenham booked their place in the FA Cup semi-final courtesy of a 3-0 triumph.
Keown then commented on the price Spurs paid for Eriksen back in 2013:
“I think they paid £12.5 million for him, that’s an absolute snip.”
Looking back now it is clear to see just how much of a bargain Spurs managed to bring in. Eriksen was approaching the end of his Ajax contract at the time, which did not help the Dutch side’s bargaining power.
Comparing Eriksen to his current contemporaries in the game it is clear to see just how incredible a deal this was for Spurs.
Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in January. The Brazilian cost a fee reported by Sky Sports to be £146 million. Tottenham fans will rightly believe that Eriksen is at least as good as the Barca newbie. In fact, many will suggest Eriksen is the superior operator.
Another barometer to consider in this case is that of Tottenham’s summer signing Davinson Sanchez. The Colombian, like Eriksen, was signed from Ajax but four years on and with circumstances different cost much more.
Sanchez cost a club record £42 million, according to the Guardian. That is a difference of over £30 million which highlights just how impressive the fee paid for Eriksen is. In the world of £200 million transfer fees looking back at the deal for Eriksen nearly five years ago will please Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
Tottenham will obviously hope they never have to sell the Dane. But if they did, the fee involved could easily amount to £100m-plus.
Which would certainly not be a bad return on the investment from Tottenham Hotspur’s point of view.
Sessegnon or Bale? Past or future? Spurs must make right move this summer
Tottenham Hotspur appear to be emerging as the frontrunners in the race to sign Fulham talent Ryan Sessegnon this summer.
The Times reported in January that Tottenham had made a £25 million bid the summer previously, but that Fulham value the teenager at around £50 million.
On top of that, Spurs are also being linked with a sensational move to bring Gareth Bale back to North London. Spanish source Diario Gol has reported that Bale is ready to leave Real Madrid this summer – and has decided a return to Spurs is his wish. Bale of course left Spurs for Madrid in what the Telegraph reported was a then world record £86 million fee.
It poses a big question for Spurs’s chairman Daniel Levy and manager Mauricio Pochettino. Do they start a new future, or go back to the past?
Sessegnon has been consistently compared to Bale in playing style. Much of that is down to his left-back origin. A lot of it is also down to his obvious precocious talent.
Tottenham will no doubt not be able to afford both players this summer. So what do they do?
The arrival of Bale would be a dream comeback. However, the Welshman turns 29 in June and has suffered with consistent injury problems over the past few years.
Sessegnon on the other hand is at the start of his career. The 17-year-old has already played nearly 70 professional games and scored 21 goals, many of those from left-back.
He would cost less than Bale and in the long-run would be a more stable investment. If Bale’s injury problems continued Tottenham could end up paying a larger sum for a player who cannot be relied upon.
Tottenham Hotspur should continue to look to the future in the case of Sessegnon or Bale. Bring in the Fulham star and hopefully reap the rewards.
Moroyin Omolabi released by Tottenham Hotspur one year after praise
The Nigerian defender briefly spent time on trial at Reading this year.
Nearly one year ago Tottenham Hotspur prospect Moroyin Omolabi was winning praise for his performances in the club’s youth teams.
After a win against Norwich City for the under-18s the Nigerian midfielder was given high praise by his manager John McDermott.
It came after he seamlessly dropped into a centre-back role for the game. Speaking to the official Tottenham Hotspur website after the game McDermott stated:
“Moroyin Omolabi, playing at centre-half, stood out against their front players who were very good.
“There were a lot of positives today and I was very proud of the way we played.”
It seemed that the 18-year-old might, therefore, be a player to keep tabs on for the Spurs first-team one day.
But despite impressing back in April of last year, it seems Omolabi has not progressed quite like Tottenham would have hoped.
In the most recent list of player registrations released by the FA the versatile teenager has been confirmed as released by Tottenham.
The 18-year-old left Spurs by mutual consent on the 27th February.
The teenager was a part of the UEFA Youth League squad for Spurs, but did not feature in a single game.
He played seven times in the Under-18 Premier League this campaign, scoring against West Ham back in October.
But after dropping out of contention at Spurs, the Nigerian spent time on trial at Reading – featuring in three games for the Berkshire club.
His final game for Tottenham appears to have been the 2-1 defeat against Fulham in October.
His failure to launch at Spurs just highlights the strength in depth Tottenham have in their youth ranks.
The teenager will now face a hunt for a new team in the summer, with his Tottenham days behind him.
It will be interesting to see if Reading follows up their interest in the player but Omolabi will now be on the hunt for a new team.
Hopefully, his education at Tottenham Hotspur will see him in good stead in his hunt for a professional career elsewhere.
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