Tottenham could target a quality attacker in January, and we look at the three potential options Ange Postecoglou could do with.
The effect of James Maddison since the season began made everyone, including Spurs fans, ignore what happens if the England international misses out with an injury. The most feared scenario that occurred in the game was considered dreadful for Tottenham when they lost that dramatic clash against Chelsea.
Having seen a massive rise under Ange Postecoglou after the Australian took over during the summer, Spurs had the best start of any Premier League club in history. The Chelsea defeat sparked something unprecedented, and they jave lost their following two clashes, including Sunday’s game against Aston Villa.
James Maddison 🔥 pic.twitter.com/s8xwNVYPlG
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The chance creation metric is the big difference from their time this season with and without Maddison. Looking at those games before the Chelsea defeat, the former Leicester City man had taken on the mantle of being Tottenham’s chief creator. But things have taken a different turn.
Against Wolves, they relied heavily on turnovers and counter-attacking Gary O’Neil’s side. Even against Aston Villa, they relied totally on transitions, with Son Heung-min scoring thrice. But all those strikes got ruled out by offside.
Without Maddison in their ranks, Spurs look beleaguered in the attack and do not look like title challengers. Tottenham are in danger of losing their status as early flyers in the league. With their defeat on Sunday they are already fifth on the table.
It has been a sensational fall for Postecoglou’s men. Some may argue they missed the likes of Micky van de Ven and Cristian Romero during these defeats. Still, even with a leaky defence, they needed more ability to score many goals, courtesy of missing Maddison.
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Even in the wide areas, they lack variety, with Manor Solomon proving his worth early in the season. They lost the Israel international to a long-term injury, while Ivan Perisic suffered a season-ending ACL tear.
Hence, Postecoglou might look for an attacker who can play across the channel and potentially in all three front-line positions. We have a few options for the Australian to consider, with Samuel Iling-Junior, Jota and Kerem Akturkoglu all present on this potential shortlist.
One must remember that some emerging reports state that Tottenham may need deep pockets to enter the January market. Moreover, they are also keen to recruit a key defender and potentially a midfielder, considering they will have depth problems in that department in the new year, significantly if Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg departs.
Hence, the shortlist we have on our hands will focus on versatility, availability and what these players bring to the table in the context of Tottenham.
Given that Ange Postecoglou has not signed any player he previously coached at other clubs, there is a glaring market opportunity, potentially cost-effective, to bring one of his former trusted stars. Jota, who made a sensational move from Celtic to Al-Ittihad in the summer, is available in the market.
Despite the lucrative nature of the move and the Portuguese attacker’s apparent qualities, he remains in exile at Al-Ittihad. European clubs, including Tottenham, are already considering a move for Jota in January, with the player likely to suit the style the Australian wants.
Jota’s strong suit lies on the wings, but his ability to play well on both flanks is what Tottenham should consider. Moreover, he knows how Postecoglou wants his wingers to play and will add a new dimension to the team.
Jota can also score many goals under the Australian and has already demonstrated this at Celtic. The significant factor is Jota’s ready availability in January, and with his status at Al-Ittihad clearly showing signs, the Saudi Pro League club do not count on him in the future.
It could spring up an opportunity for Spurs to take him on loan during January with an option to buy or negotiate a cheaper fee, much lower than what Al-Ittihad paid during the summer.
After a stellar start to the season, Turkish forward Kerem Akturkoglu has tailed off in his performances. However, his influence remains a significant factor for Galatasaray this season, as they will hope for a big season from the versatile attacker.
Kerem Aktürkoğlu | Dibine Kadar pic.twitter.com/nrmjoqaclY
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Primarily a left winger, Akturkoglu can play in all three front-line positions, with his primary role of strength in wide areas. With Galatasaray likely to ask for a significant sum of money, it does make for a tricky transfer from Tottenham’s perspective. Moreover, there are always doubts about Turkish players integrating into a top league like England.
However, in a recent Champions League clash at Old Trafford, Akturkoglu was on the scoresheet as Galatasaray downed Manchester United. Speaking of Manchester United, the Red Devils and Arsenal are also interested in the Turk heading into the January transfer window.
He would undoubtedly fit Postecoglou’s plans for his versatility across the frontline. The fact that he can come in for someone like Dejan Kulusevski in games makes it a significant factor, as Spurs have yet to find a deputy for the Swede. Then again, Tottenham would mind the cost factor in this deal.
Galatasaray will sell if they can receive an acceptable offer in January. With Tottenham likely to focus their money towards a midfielder and defender, they might only fancy a big splurge on an attacker if they can find a breakthrough to get a cheaper deal done.
The English winger represents one good market opportunity, but Spurs will face intense competition for the Juventus star. The Bianconeri are not overly keen to keep him and would want €20 million or more to sell him to one of the English sides.
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Samuel Iling-Junior may have impressed some of his suitors already despite his minimal appearances for Juventus. He started the season well, but the wing-back role is inappropriately suited for the young Englishman.
Tottenham are indeed interested, and they have been for some time now. Postecoglou will again view Iling-Junior as a versatile, wide attacker in his system and would like to explore a move. Based on his status at Juventus, Spurs will certainly want to negotiate, which could see them offer lower fees than the €20 million valuations.
Considering the lack of playing time in Turin and Juventus’s need for quick cash to strengthen their squad, Iling-Junior would undoubtedly enter the sales market in January. Tottenham might even take him on loan with a buy option, which they can do with Jota.
However, Juventus will push for a permanent sale. Postecoglou will hope Iling-Junior can realise his potential playing as a proper winger rather than a wing-back, as he is currently deployed at Juventus.