According to reports in the Daily Mail late on Monday night, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is considering a surprise swoop for Bayer Leverkusen full-back Benjamin Henrichs.
The versatile 20-year-old has impressed in recent seasons in the Bundesliga, with his solid performances earning himself a call-up for Germany’s FIFA Confederations Cup squad last month.
It is understood that Henrichs’ representatives are keen on discussing a switch to the Premier League, although Tottenham would have to meet the £18 million valuation put on the German.
Would the German be a good fit for Tottenham?
With Kyle Walker recently completing his move to Premier League rivals Manchester City, it’s arguable that Mauricio Pochettino should use the £50 million fee to re-invest in the full-back area.
Although Kieran Trippier left a lasting impression during his various appearances last season – earning himself a five-year contract extension – there is still a feeling that more strength in depth is needed.
If it is youthful exuberance, character and potential that the Argentine desires then he should look no further than Henrichs, who has burst onto the scene in Germany and really caught the eye with his displays.
What he lacks in experience – after all he is only 20-years-old – he more than makes up for in creativity and intent. Unlike Trippier, he has Walker’s natural ability to rush to the by-line and create chances for the strikers to feed off in the box, creating 1.67 chances per game last season.
On a much wider pitch at Wembley Stadium this attacking edge could really benefit Tottenham’s offensive play in the final third, taking his love of getting forward and utilising it almost as a winger.
He could do with working on his end product, but the fact of the matter is that Henrichs spends enough time in the final third that, eventually, chances will fall to the likes of Harry Kane.
The prime difference between Henrichs and Trippier, however, comes in the lack of maturity that the German has and a lack of exposure at the highest level, leaving him prone to errors in positioning.
It would be a gamble for Tottenham to move for the 20-year-old, especially with him by no means the finished article. Nonetheless given time to develop at the right team he could easily emulate Walker’s impact.
Could Javier Hernandez be the answer to West Ham’s goalscoring issues?
West Ham United are believed to have turned their attentions to Javier Hernandez, as they step up their search for a prolific goalscorer.
The Hammers have been linked with numerous strikers already this summer, including Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City, with Slaven Bilic targeting a marquee signing to lead their attack. According to ESPN, the West Ham manager is weighing up a move for the former Manchester United hitman.
The Mexico international, affectionately known as ‘Chicharito’, currently plies his trade in the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen. He has enjoyed a fruitful spell in Germany, where he has notched up 39 goals in 76 appearances. It is that goals-per-game ratio in one of the strongest leagues in Europe that appears to have caught the attention of Bilic.
West Ham largely struggled for goals last season as they limped to an 11th-placed Premier League finish. Andre Ayew and Andy Carroll both endured injury problems, as the Hammers found it difficult to adjust to life in the London Stadium. The Dimitri Payet saga also contributed to a toxic atmosphere at the club.[interaction id=”595a62d9f2d4938713c38873"]
Hernandez was a popular figure during a five-year-spell at Old Trafford, despite failing to establish himself in the starting XI under Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes or Louis van Gaal. However, he is a natural goalscorer who thrives on service – a real fox in the box.
A predatory instinct in front of goal is a quality the Hammers have lacked in the past few seasons, so it is easy to see why Chicharito may be of significant interest to Bilic.
Considering he is in the final year of his contract at Leverkusen, the German outfit may be tempted to cash in on Hernandez now, rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer.
The best footballers under 23-years-old to watch out for in 2017
Football’s production lines never stop and 2017 is set to be another year where potentially world class talent is about to be unearthed for the rest of the watching world to view. The most prestigious clubs around the world develop some incredible talent to boost their seasons and The Boot Room have picked out five potential world-beaters who are ready to take the footballing planet by storm…
Giovanni Simeone – Genoa, Argentina
“Cholito” as he’s called by many is making a rapid name for himself in his early months as a professional footballer in Europe. Son to Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, Giovanni joined Italy’s Genoa from River Plate and has already bagged seven goals in 17 games for the Rossoblu so far – including two against defending champions Juventus, late in November.
It was in Italy where his father made an impact with Inter Milan and Lazio and it is there where Simeone Junior is catching the eye of the biggest names in European football. The 21-year-old striker can also play as an offensive midfield player and his nimble footwork and speed have been great assets to the sides he represented before he came to Italy – River Plate and, briefly, Banfield, both in his native Argentina.
And while he does his best to make his own in Europe, several of his coaches have noted similar characteristics between him and his father. The same passion, hunger and desire to succeed will surely take him far in the continent and with the national team as well. So far, there’s talk of the Premier League as well as Napoli looking to swoop in for the young forward, but the way he’s going, that list will surely increase in number.
Kasper Dolberg – Denmark, Ajax
Ajax’s stunning carousel of spotting talent has a new member in the name of Danish Kasper Dolberg. Discovered by John Steen Olsen – the same scout that found the likes of Christian Eriksen, Victor Fischer and a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the 19-year-old forward has often drawn comparisons to the big Swede for his style and impressive goal record in his breakthrough season with the Amsterdam giants.
The forward has been scintillating in attack and can play across all areas of a front three. He’s worked on his game as a forward having started out as a left winger and has made the most of his natural talent with his speed, strength and supremely powerful right foot coming to very good use as his 11 goals in all competitions this season have helped Ajax in a relatively poor season so far.
He even bagged a 37-minute hat-trick in a game against NAC Breda in November – the second fastest Eredivisie hat-trick for Ajax after the great Marco van Basten and that boosted his reputation even further and has the finest scouts having his name at the top of their lists. Juventus, Manchester United and Manchester City have all reportedly sent scouts to watch the man so far, and a move may not be too far away.
Kasper Dolberg – 1st half of Eredivisie 16/17 [for @albionsr] pic.twitter.com/afXkeWiSDJ
— Football Radars (@FussballRadars) December 18, 2016
Bayer Leverkusen vs Tottenham Hotspur: Match preview and predicted line-ups
This will be just the second time that Tottenham have faced Bayer Leverkusen, emerging from the BayArena victorious in their last visit in UEFA Cup action in 2006 with a 1-0 win courtesy of Dimitar Berbatov’s strike against his former side. With two games played, this fixture could prove decisive with the two sides currently second and third in the group.
Leverkusen have had some inconsistent form in a season which has been a rollercoaster ride to date. Currently sitting in a disappointing mid table position, the side suffered their third league defeat of the season at the weekend only a week after stunning Borussia Dortmund with a 2-0 victory. With two draws from two games in the Champions League, their start has been average, and they will now hope to kick on after conceding a last minute equaliser against Monaco having previously thrown away a two goal lead against CSKA Moscow.
For Spurs, European football has been the most disappointing aspect of their campaign to date. Defeat to Monaco on their return to the Champions League at Wembley was their only loss to date this season, though Saturday’s draw at the Hawthorns was perhaps the worst display of the season with Dele Alli’s late equaliser avoiding another defeat as the team seemed to lack momentum after being on fire going into the international break.
Bayer Leverkusen predicted starting XI Tottenham Hotspur predicted starting XI
Roger Schmidt is expected to name an unchanged line-up from the eleven that suffered defeat at Werder Bremen at the weekend, though Admir Mehmedi may compete with Kevin Volland to partner former Manchester United man Javier Hernandez up front.
There are likely to be four changes for Mauricio Pochettino, with Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier returning as they have been rotated in Europe with Eric Dier stepping in at central defence with Toby Alderweireld unavailable. Vincent Janssen is likely to lose his place to Son Heung Min.
Suspensions and Injuries
One of Bayer Leverkusen’s biggest names will be watching on from the sideline as Lars Bender continues to recover from a calf injury, though midfielder Vladlen Yurchenko could come into contention after a similar strain. Joel Pohjanpolo and Karim Bellarabi are both long term injuries for Schmidt and will once again be unavailable for the German side.
Harry Kane remains sidelined by an ankle injury which is likely to keep him out for a number of weeks, but the fresh injury concern for the Lilywhites is the absence of Belgian centre half Toby Alderweireld who is set to miss out with a knee injury sustained in the draw against West Brom. That injury is likely to keep him out for the next fortnight, with Eric Dier expected to step in to replace him in defence.
This one could go either way, with Leverkusen’s huge inconsistencies meaning that it is hard to predict what kind of side will turn up at the BayArena on Tuesday night. Spurs will miss Alderweireld and are lacking firepower at the moment, but have the edge in terms of overall quality. We’re going for a draw.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by hnns_schtt.
Are Chelsea finally going to see the best of Alvaro Morata?
Sessegnon or Bale? Past or future? Spurs must make right move this summer
Amadou Haidara released by Leeds United, bringing an end to bizarre transfer chapter
Ryan Sessegnon should look at Tottenham pair and make switch
Jack Wilshere’s Everton arrival would surely spell the end for Morgan Schneiderlin?
Tottenham Hotspur3 weeks ago
Tottenham Hotspur must push Toby Alderweireld toward Barcelona
Liverpool3 weeks ago
Jurgen Klopp’s brave January decision is playing off thanks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Brentford4 weeks ago
Romaine Sawyers – Blossoming in the Championship with play-off contenders Brentford
Liverpool3 weeks ago
Mohamed Salah: Is Liverpool’s Egyptian star the best player in the world right now?
English Premier League2 weeks ago
Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle United: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain growing into role under Jurgen Klopp
Chelsea2 days ago
Are Chelsea finally going to see the best of Alvaro Morata?
Liverpool3 weeks ago
Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold finds himself at the centre of Jurgen Klopp’s plans
Arsenal3 weeks ago
Arsenal 0-3 Manchester City: Three talking points from Wembley