Tottenham Hotspur Summer Transfer Targets
After a mixed season for Tottenham, where managerial changes and disappointing cup exits overshadowed their first full season in their new stadium, attention now turns to the summer transfer window, with big names leaving and important positions left to be filled.
In this article I will be highlighting the areas where Tottenham should be looking to strengthen while evaluating the rumoured talent Spurs have been linked to and will judge whether they would be a good fit at N17.
Right Back – Mehmet Zeki Celik – Lille
With the departure of Kyle Walker Peters to Southampton and the rumours linking Serge Aurier to AC Milan, the right back position at Tottenham clearly needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Serge Aurier has been Spurs first choice right back this season making the 2nd most appearances with 33, behind only Lucas Moura with 35 in all competitions. However, his season has been overshadowed by individual mistakes and rash decision-making, resulting in either goals conceded or disciplinary action. The 7-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, the red card against Southampton within 40 minutes and the penalties given away against Manchester City and Liverpool to name but a few, have left Spurs fans and pundits alike questioning his inclusion and brandishing him a “liability”.
This is where the arrival of Mehmet Zeki Celik would be a welcome inclusion to the Spurs squad. Celik poses more of a calm presence in defence than Aurier conceding a goal every 90 minutes compared to 1 every 104 minutes for Celik. Celik also boasts a better percentage of clean sheets in the games he's played with 48%, double that of Aurier’s 24%. Celik prides himself on combination play in the final third and crossing quickly to the likes of Victor Oshimen or penetrating through the lines to Jonathan Ikone in the half-spaces. Celik consistently shows a good reading of the game with interceptions and last-ditch tackles to prevent opposition counters. At just 23 years of age, Celik has established himself as a regular in the Turkish National team playing 7 out of the 10 European Qualification group games. Valued at around £16m, Spurs would need to act fast with other Premier League clubs interested.
Centre Back – Kim Min Jae – Beijing Guoan
As a result of Jan Vertonghen’s contract expiration and his subsequent move to Benfica, Spurs are now left with a vacancy in defence. First choice centre backs Toby Alderweireld and Davison Sanchez have been supported by the adapting Eric Dier post lockdown, in addition to academy graduate Japhet Tanganga and out of favour Juan Foyth. With Spurs competing in many competitions a hectic fixture list is looking on the cards. This means more defensive cover is required which could arrive in the form of South Korean international Kim Min-Jae.
The 6’3 central defender has been nicknamed “The Monster” for his physical stature and strong aerial ability. Min Jae poses a threat from set pieces often scoring from corners for his national team and despite his large frame possess the ability to dribble out from the back and offload passes into midfield. He also consistently shows good distribution by encouraging long passes into wide areas for his teammates, regularly for South Korea to enable current Spurs player Heung-Min Son to use his explosive speed. Min-Jae has appeared in all but 4 of Beijing Guoans’ games in the 2018/19 season scoring 3 goals and was named in the South Korea squad which won a gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games. He was also named as the K League Rookie of the Year in 2017 and the 2018 K League Team of the Year whilst at his old club Jeonbuk Motors. Min- Jae prides himself in his composed dribbling, his variety of passes and using his physical frame to regain possession quickly to counter. With these characteristics in mind, he would seem a perfect fit for a Mourinho style team.
Striker – Callum Wilson – AFC Bournemouth
Many of Tottenham’s problems last season occurred when they have been without Harry Kane. Often Spurs have had to change the shape and style of their play with many players attempting to fulfill the role of main striker such as Heung Min Son and Lucas Moura. Kane accounted for 28% of Tottenham’s goals last year scoring 24 in all competitions so Spurs need investment in back up strikers to fill the void left by Kane while battling recurring injuries such as ankle or knee. Last season Callum Wilson totalled up the 2nd most appearances in the Bournemouth squad with 35/38 and finished as top scorer for the Cherries with 8 goals. Despite Bournemouth being relegated, Wilson enjoyed his 2nd best scoring season whilst in the Premier League behind his tally of 14 in the 2018/19 season.
Although Wilson's numbers in comparison to Kane seem inferior, he is regarded as more than just a goal scorer. A large part of Bournemouth's success in recent years has occurred as a result of a dynamic front 4 made of Ryan Fraser, David Brooks, Josh King and Wilson. The quartet expressed themselves in the final third regularly relying on off ball movement, one-two combination play and positional fluidity. This is something which Spurs have also relied on with main striker Kane, wide players of Son and Moura and attacking midfielder of Lo Celso. With Mourinho having stubborn defensive principles, Wilson would have the opportunity to flourish in this system. His off the ball energy, explosive speed and work rate up front, would be welcome in forward areas where he could look to emulate his form at Bournemouth. The front 4 at Tottenham have essentially been given a license to be creative and expressive as a result of a compact and solid defensive and midfield. Wilson would suit this style and would look establish himself back in the Premier League.