Nuno Santo could receive a massive upgrade to Tottenham Hotspur’s midfield this month as the transfer deadline rapidly approaches…
What’s the latest?
According to Sport Bild’s head of football Christian Falk, Spurs are one of several teams in the race to sign Borussia Monchengladbach powerhouse Denis Zakaria.
Earlier this week, he claimed that the Lilywhites were “in talks” with the Bundesliga outfit over a potential move this window but they are facing fierce competition from arch-rivals Arsenal, as well as Everton, AS Roma and SSC Napoli.
Further reports in Germany, via The Sun, suggest that the Swiss international could be available for a cut-price £17m, with his current deal set to expire in 2022.
Would Zakaria be an upgrade on Sissoko?
On the Chalkboard
A swoop for Zakaria would certainly make life even more difficult for Moussa Sissoko, who appears to be one of several names on the chopping block in North London.
The Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick believes that the veteran French midfielder is available for transfer and could be offered as makeweights along with other players to land their final summer transfer targets.
If Spurs’ sporting director Fabio Paratici can land Zakaria and at the same time offload Sissoko, then he’d be handing Nuno an instant upgrade to his engine room.
Somehow, the 31-year-old Frenchman earned a spot in Didier Deschamps’ Euro 2020 squad, but over the past 18 months he has seen a huge regression.
He averaged 1.4 dribbles per game during the 2019/20 campaign but that halved to 0.7 in 2020/21. Similarly, Sissoko’s key passes per game dropped by 0.4 and he also managed far fewer tackles, via WhoScored.
Once a box-to-box animal who cost £30m, Sissoko appears to have lost what made him such a great option.
At 24, the Gladbach star would be a more viable option for the long-term and one who could make an immediate impact.
The 6 foot 3 powerhouse is known for his phenomenal work-rate and ability to cover a lot of ground on the pitch, whilst he has been likened to several top midfielders throughout his career, ranging from World Cup winner Toni Kroos to Manchester United sensation Paul Pogba.
Throughout his career to date, Zakaria has averaged 2.4 tackles, 1.6 interceptions and 0.6 key passes every 90 minutes, via WhoScored, which is a stark improvement on the numbers that Sissoko put up in the top-flight last season.
Described as a “complete package” and a “rare talent” by GIFN editor Kaustubh Pandey, the £27m-rated machine would be the perfect replacement for the former Newcastle ace, should he depart the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before August 31st.
Paratici and co must look to sanction a move for Zakaria in the coming days.