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Report: 23-year-old workhorse ready to snub Tottenham transfer over key concern

Ramiz Zerrouki is ready to reject a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur to stay at FC Twente, according to Fennec Football.

Spurs are one of several European sides considering moves for the Algerian midfielder this summer. They face rival interest from France to sign the 23-year-old after he produced a strong Eredivisie campaign last season.

Zerrouki is the undisputed key to Ron Jans’ engine room at De Grolsch Veste. He made 31 appearances, starting 23, in the Dutch top-flight in 2020/21 after an intermittent start to the term.

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Zerrouki last failed to start an Eredivisie fixture in December and saw his progress return a first cap for Algeria. Djamel Belmadi gave the Amsterdam-born gem his debut in March and has since awarded a further four outings.

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Twente could now look to cash-in on Zerrouki as he will enter the final two years of his contract this summer. But the former Ajax prospect has no interest in leaving the Tukkers just yet.

Instead, Zerrouki hopes to spend at least one more year at De Grolsch Veste before embarking on a new challenge. The midfielder does not want to risk his time on the field being impacted by leaving Twente for Tottenham or France.

Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy and Managing Director Fabio Paratici would have to convince the Twente product that he would be given a key first-team role to bring him to north London.

Last season was the first time that Zerrouki occupied a first-team role and is not willing to give it up. He featured seven times on the Twente bench in 2019/20 but only made his senior debut last September.

TBR’s view: Zerrouki no great loss for Tottenham

Zerrouki would not be a great loss for Tottenham if he were to reject a move to stay at Twente. The 23-year-old is still very unproven at the senior level and must play regularly to show his potential.

He has begun to build a solid reputation in the Netherlands and for Algeria. The midfielder has occupied an all-action workhorse role for club and country, battling well in the duels, applying a lot of pressure and recovering possession.

But it would be a surprise if Zerrouki were to play often at Tottenham if he were to join. He would face a lot of competition for minutes in the engine room from players with a lot more experience.

Oliver Skipp is also returning to Tottenham after a successful loan spell with Norwich City and will want his chance. Spurs have put a lot into the 20-year-old’s development and may favour that route over the Twente talent.

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