Vedat Muriqi has recently emerged as a Tottenham Hotspur target. According to Sabah, Tottenham sent scouts to watch the Kosovo international in action against the Czech Republic, alongside representatives from Fiorentina, Lazio and Napoli.
Muriqi scored against the Czech Republic and that would have convinced Spurs representatives to see how he did against England. The result was emphatic as Muriqi stood out for the Kosovans in their 5-3 loss against England in Southampton.
But did he justify the reported £18m (Sabah) price tag placed on his head by Fenerbahce? We take a closer look…
Contributes to all 3 goals
Muriqi dominated England’s defence, scoring once and providing two assists. It all started with less than one minute on the clock. Muriqi intercepted Michael Keane’s pass and played it to Valon Berisha, who netted after just 34 seconds.
Kosovo trailed 5-1 at half-time but came out blazing in the second half. It was Muriqi who got the assist again, floating the ball over the top for Berisha to add his second.
Then, the towering centre-forward was fouled in the box by Harry Maguire. He dusted himself down and struck past Jordan Pickford from the spot. With three direct goal contributions in a 5-3 loss, Muriqi could hardly have done much more.
Proves his worth against £100m+ defence
Muriqi wasn’t playing against an average defence, either. England’s two central defenders cost a combined total of more than £100m. Keane joined Everton for a fee rising to a joint club-record of £30m (BBC) while Maguire is the world’s most expensive defender at £80m (BBC).
But Muriqi was not fazed by the challenge and he dominated the England back-line. The physical centre-forward caused problems in the air and demonstrated his ability with the ball at his feet with two assists and a goal. This shows that he has the ability to mix with Premier League defenders.
More scouting needed
The conclusion that Spurs scouts must derive from Muriqi’s performance last night is that he needs more scouting. It would be too rash to judge him on the back of two international performances, especially at the quoted price.
Muriqi has an impressive goalscoring record in Turkey. But the 25-year-old needs to keep this up if he wants Tottenham to move for him. There is still plenty of scouting work to do on Muriqi.