SOCCER

Spurs set to target Ben Brereton Díaz to back Harry Kane

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With the signing of Yves Bissouma, Tottenham Hotspur have continued what looks to be an already busy summer for the club. It was expected that after Spurs finished in the top four, the club would make significant improvements to the squad including various ins and outs. Early results suggest Daniel Levy and Fabio Paratici are sticking to their word and fully backing Antonio Conte after the Italian blunderer made several suggestions that the squad needed more depth and improvements.

With the signings of Bissouma, Ivan Perišić and Fraser Forster, Spurs locked down two starting options and a local reserve goalkeeper for around £30m (given Perišić and Forster were free transfers). The expectation and reports are that Spurs will still be looking to add another central midfielder, another winger option for the right side and possibly even two centre-backs – one of whom can fill the role. left center back. However, another position and another area of ​​need identified by Conte is the striker.

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For years Spurs have neglected the striker position and too often relied on Harry Kane. Apart from Carlos Vinícius, who was loaned out a few seasons ago under José Mourinho, Spurs haven’t really been able to deal with the substitute striker spot since Vincent Janssen’s failed transfer. As the club’s talisman continues to age and faces a ton of games for the club and England this coming season, it’s time for Spurs to bring a player into the job to help spell Kane’s time. here and there. One player who wouldn’t be as expensive and a quietly shrewd business move would be Blackburn Rovers’ Ben Brereton Díaz.

Spurs have already been linked with Brazilians Raphinha and Richarlison this summer, so more attacking firepower is clearly a priority. And while both players would help up front, the truth is that they have different profiles and would be less conventional operators at striker – Raphinha more than Richarlison, the latter with a bit of experience playing more like central attack target.

Last season, Spurs played a strong 3-4-3 with the front three of Kane, Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski. With a full pre-season to work with, Conte and his team will have plenty of time to iron out different tactics and game patterns against teams with contrasting profiles. With Spurs back in Europe’s top-flight Champions League campaign, depth will be hugely important for Conte’s side this season.

Towards the end of last season, Spurs were naming the likes of Harvey White and Michael Craig as bench options – both decent prospects going forward but not players who should be on the bench for a club the size of Spurs. Adding depth and completing the squad is important for Spurs this summer and their signings so far have helped in that department.

The striker position is still expensive in the summer transfer window, but Brereton Díaz has been somewhat overlooked given where Rovers finished towards the end of the league campaign and the fact that he doesn’t play not in a typical feeder league like the Portuguese Primeira Liga or the French League. 1.

The prospect of adding Brereton Díaz is unique despite not being considered sexy by many. Compared to other forwards on the transfer market, a Blackburn player obviously doesn’t provide as much intrigue as a Serie A player might, but that certainly doesn’t mean he’d be a bad addition. In recent seasons, Liverpool have added players like Fábio Carvalho and Andrew Robertson from lower-ranked clubs to the EFL.

Despite recently becoming a regular for Chile at international level (hilariously, he found out about his Chilean eligibility via Football Manager), Brereton Díaz is an England native who rose through the ranks at Nottingham Forest before coming to prominence at Blackburn. After two seasons of struggling to break into the first team, Brereton Díaz has grown within his frame and become much more confident, which has seen him establish himself as Rovers’ main starter for the past two seasons. For Blackburn, there was no player more important to their success this season than BBD. And while Blackburn missed the Championship play-off, Brereton Díaz’s 22 league goals (npG+A/90 0.63) tied for third in the league with the two players ahead of him (Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dominic Solanke of Bournemouth) being in the teams that were promoted.

Spurs’ signings so far this summer support the idea that the club are profiting from adding players on the cheap. Perišić and Forster joined on free transfers and Bissouma was bought at a discount due to his contract ending after next season. Brereton Díaz has just one season left on his contract with Blackburn, after the club triggered a clause to extend him for another season. Should Brereton Díaz stay at Blackburn he would likely have another productive season with goals, but it could potentially come at the expense of Rovers not being able to extend him if they miss out on promotion next season. That makes him an attractive target for Spurs who could be looking for a low-cost backup with high potential, leaving more money for other targets.

Blackburn and Spurs did business fairly recently when Rovers bought Spurs academy graduate Dilan Markanday, who in a similar situation Spurs sold at a discount because Markanday was out of contract at the end of the season. Markanday needed first-team football and although injury kept him from taking to the ground on his Blackburn debut, he is certainly a talented prospect who could pave the way for a decent business relationship with both clubs. .

Brereton Díaz would meet the criteria for a homegrown player – something Spurs need to be aware of as they continue to re-kit their squad this summer. Mainly attacking, Brereton Díaz can also play in several attacking positions, notably on the left wing and even in a second attacking role. He doesn’t have revolutionary speed, but he is a player who plays well in tight areas and has really grown in his decision-making ability. He has a good grip of the ball, displays comfort from his first touch. When you think about how Conte likes his sides to work, they work much more like a calculated machine, heavily based on his patterns and less on his individual brilliance.

At Blackburn, manager Tony Mowbray’s system has put a little more emphasis on attacking which has really helped Brereton Díaz become the player he became last season. Coming to Spurs would obviously be a leap in the competition, but he has quietly figured out his game under a more immutable system. Should he join Conte at Spurs, it would be yet another rigorous and meticulous environment for Brereton Díaz to take the next step in his development.

He’s a player Spurs wouldn’t immediately throw into their starting lineup, but it would give them a product they simply haven’t had in recent seasons. If Conte really works his magic and brings Spurs closer to a Premier League title, he will simply need a healthy and fit Kane. With a crazy season approaching with the World Cup squashed midway through the campaign, Spurs simply cannot use and depend on Kane as much as they did last season. Having Brereton Díaz in the squad would give them yet another option for the various competitions they will take part in next season and give them a proven player who scores goals and has natural attacking tendencies.

To expect him to come in and immediately adapt to the Premier League would be unfair, but this is a potential transfer that feels like a low-risk, high-reward move that a club like Spurs should consider. Also, making a move for Brereton Díaz could be done in addition to adding a more well-known option in attack like a Lautaro Martínez or one of the Brazilian names mentioned above. So far this summer, Spurs have rounded out their squad well without shelling out big bucks. Adding a player like BBD would fit into that mold and leave Spurs in a position where they are still more than capable of adding an elite player of £50million or more this summer.

follow me on Twitter @RyanSRatty.

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