Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly identified Nico Schlotterbeck as a potential target as Antonio Conte looks for defensive reinforcements.
According to The Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur have entered the market for Nico Schlotterbeck. The 22-year-old SC Freiburg defender has emerged as one of the club’s top targets in the summer, with coach Antonio Conte desperate to bring in defensive reinforcements after the end of the season.
A product of the Freiburg youth academy, Schlotterbeck has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence over the past couple of years. He made his breakthrough last season on loan at Union Berlin, racking up 16 league appearances. The defender has continued his growth upon his return to Freiburg, having become an ever-present figure of the Bundesliga club’s backline.
A centre-back by trade, Schlotterbeck is a crafty defender who thrives in aerial duels thanks to his imposing 1.91m frame. The 22-year-old is often quite dominating in ground duels as well and is capable enough on the ball as well. He is excellent in possession and often looks to play the ball forward.
The 22-year-old has already broken into the German national team under Hansi Flick. He is one of the top candidates to be selected for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Schlotterbeck’s success at Freiburg has not gone unnoticed either, with Tottenham Hotspur emerging as a potential destination for the youngster. As mentioned earlier, the club’s hierarchy is keen on adding more quality in their defence next season in light of Japhet Tanganga and Davinson Sanchez’s lack of consistency.
Tottenham are expected to offload a few fringe players as well, including Joe Rodon, who is reportedly determined to force his way out of north London. Tanganga is another candidate likely to be shipped off in the summer, thus making way for newer defenders such as Nico Schlotterbeck.
The Freiburg ace can offer excellent competition for the likes of Eric Dier and Cristian Romero next season. But it remains to be seen whether Tottenham can tackle competition from Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund in the race to sign the 22-year-old German international.
Local media does indeed favour the Black and Yellows over Tottenham to sign Schlotterbeck this summer. He is likely to be brought in as a replacement for Manuel Akanji, who is tipped to leave Dortmund amid interest from Manchester United.
Fortunately, Tottenham have no shortage of alternatives and have targeted a number of other defensive options in the market. One of them is RB Leipzig’s rising star Josko Gvardiol, while Sven Botman has emerged as a potential target as well.