Tottenham could be considering their options as The Sun say that they are casting an eye over Celta Vigo midfielder Pape Cheikh Diop as a potential alternative to Everton contract rebel Ross Barkley.
Who is he?
A Spanish youth international, Pape Cheikh Diop is an exciting young talent playing for La Liga side Celta Vigo. The 20-year-old emerged as a first team option last season and is an active member of Spain’s under 19 squad.
Where has he been?
Originally from Senegal, he moved to Spain aged 14 in 2011 and was immediately picked up by local team Club Internacional de la Amistad, before joining Montañeros CF in 2012. Then, top flight side Celta Vigo came in in 2013 and took him into their youth set-up.
He then spent two seasons with the club’s B team in the third division, also making his first team debut in 2015 as a substitute. Last season saw him earn his first start and he became a regular in the side towards the end of the season.
What’s his style of play?
The 20-year-old is a versatile option who can play anywhere from a holding role to a more advanced attacking position. In the past he has also featured out wide. He is good at breaking up play and often looks to get forward on the ball with dribbling runs through the middle once in possession.
His inexperience has led him to be a little rash with his tackling at times, conceding needless free-kicks. His other weakness is his lack of aerial strength, not helped despite being a reasonable height as just below 6ft.
What would his arrival mean for Tottenham?
Given that Pochettino is unlikely to add two central midfielders to his squad given the options already available to him, it seems inevitable that a move for the La Liga ace would spell an end to interest in Barkley. As such, it may be a negotiating ploy by Tottenham to make Barkley’s team lower their demands. Alternatively, Mauricio Pochettino and co. may genuinely be considering Diop as an option in midfield.