RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol has reportedly emerged as a target for Tottenham, as Antonio Conte eyes defensive reinforcements in the summer.
A recent report from Daily Telegraph has offered an update on Tottenham Hotspur’s transfer policy in the summer. While the Lilywhites majorly opted to jump in on attackers and midfielders in January, Antonio Conte is looking for defensive reinforcements after the end of the season.
The north Londoners are primarily targeting Sven Botman, but they are set to face stiff competition from Newcastle United, who are expected to re-enter the market for the LOSC Lille defender in the summer. As a result, Fabio Paratici has identified a potential alternative in the form of Josko Gvardiol.
A product of the Dinamo Zagreb youth academy, Gvardiol has made a solid impression in the Bundesliga since joining RB Leipzig in the summer. After a disappointing start to the campaign, the 20-year-old Croat has been one of the top performers in the club’s revival period under the leadership of new coach Domenico Tedesco.
A centre-back by trade, Gvardiol is a versatile defender who can operate at left-back, if required. His ability to move forward with the ball resembles the style of Alessandro Bastoni, who enjoyed stellar success under Antonio Conte at Inter Milan. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the Tottenham manager is keen on signing the Leipzig defender in the January transfer window.
The Lilywhites have no shortage of options in the defensive department. However, new signing Cristian Romero has struggled with injuries, whereas there are question marks over the quality or the consistency over other first-choice options, including Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga, who was notably linked with a January move to AC Milan.
The addition of Josko Gvardiol, to that end, could go a long way in adding more strength in Tottenham’s defensive unit. The Croatian international could prove to be an upgrade over Ben Davies in the left-sided centre-back role. The 20-year-old defender is also more adept at playing in a back-three, making him a tactically compatible option for Conte.
However, the Londoners can expect strong resistance from RB Leipzig in the pursuit of Gvardiol. The Bundesliga giants had to contend with the loss of two premier centre-backs last summer and will be keen on avoiding such a scenario ahead of the 2022/23 season. So it won’t be surprising to see Tottenham eyeing further alternatives in the market, including Bastoni.
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