December 2, 2021

Spurs swoop for £36m "goal threat" could be final nail in coffin for 25 y/o disaster – opinion

3 min read
Tottenham Hotspur are thought to be among the front-runners for RB Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer...

Tottenham Hotspur are thought to be among the front-runners for RB Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer this summer.

According to Sport Bild, there is a “75{a85b79e9d5d3e303e0c934e23835a4225f89957b1908a0bf3709bfd198df4224} chance” that he joins the north London outfit after the current campaign, though Spurs do face competition from Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester United.

The 27-year-old’s contract is set to expire in 2022, so the Bundesliga side do not want to lose him for nothing and as a result, have put a €42m (£36m) valuation for signature.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has previously lauded his fit in the current Spurs set-up, claiming he’s “perfect for Jose Mourinho” whilst as Leipzig skipper, he’d arrive with plenty of leadership attributes.

That’s not to mention his ability to score from midfield too, having notched 23 goals across the past two seasons, as per Transfermarkt – it’s no wonder his manager, Julian Nagelsmann, has dubbed him a “goal threat.”

But with this interest comes a consequence, as Mourinho will not be able to fit so many midfielders into his matchday squad, let alone the starting XI every week.

One player who appears to be most at risk is Harry Winks, who has become a forgotten man in N17, having started only seven league games all term.

A lot has been made about the 25-year-old’s future at Spurs. Ahead of January, Winks revealed his frustration at a lack of game time, he told Sky Sports: “Definitely, my situation at Tottenham is difficult at the moment.”

And since then, there have been reports suggesting that he’ll ‘insist’ on a departure in the summer. That’s according to Sport (via Sport Witness), who believe Winks is enticed by the idea of playing in Spain.

Overall, this could be the best thing for all parties because the Englishman has failed to live up to the lofty expectations once set by former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Speaking to the Evening Standard in 2018, Pochettino compared Winks to the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi. He said: “Harry has the profile of the perfect midfield player. His characteristics are perfect. When we talk about midfielders like Xavi and Iniesta, he’s like this type of player.”

The £20m-rated maestro has never really hit the ground running for the Lilywhites anyway. In five straight Premier League seasons, Winks has struggled to surpass an average rating of 6.57, whilst this campaign, no player with seven or more starts has been worse (6.38).

In terms of productivity, he’s offered very little.

Defensively, he ranks amongst Spurs’ worst performers, managing only 0.8 tackles per game despite playing in the engine room. By comparison, this is the same number as Heung-min Son and only 0.1 ahead of Harry Kane, who are both a key source for scoring goals, rather than keeping them out.

Similarly, in attack, Winks isn’t doing anything of note in the final third, managing only 0.3 key passes, 0.3 shots and 0.1 dribbles per game, via WhoScored.

Sabitzer would certainly be an upgrade in both senses too.

On top of his impressive goalscoring record, he’s managed to chip in at the back with 1.4 interceptions and 1.1 tackles, proving to be a tough force in midfield to win the ball back, whilst the Austria international is also averaging two shots and one key pass per game, as per WhoScored.

Daniel Levy could end Wink’s north London nightmare with a swoop for Sabitzer, and that’s surely in Spurs’ best interests.

AND in other news, Spurs eyeing “next Zlatan” Ibrahimovic in teen prodigy…

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