In recent weeks, Tottenham Hotspur have constantly been bandied with Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia (Calciomercato). It does make sense as Jan Vertonghen is facing a lengthy spell out due to an ankle ligament injury and the clamour for additional cover in the backline got louder when Toby Alderweireld left the pitch clutching his right hamstring in the dramatic 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium.
The duo has been an integral part of Spurs in recent seasons, forming a formidable partnership that seems to be one of the best in the league.
The north London club do have some depth in the central defensive department, with the names like Kevin Wimmer and Ben Davies but they do lack the much-needed experience. A key requirement especially when the club are combating for the Premier League title. When Alderweireld left the pitch, Victor Wanyama filled the void for the remainder of the match but reshuffling positions aren’t such a healthy thing.
Despite the instant need, Ranocchia securing a move to White Hart Lane in the winter window is highly unlikely. He doesn’t have the passable replicas that Mauricio Pochettino commonly ticks. Why the Italian club are opening their jacket to Spurs is because of his age, as he turns 29-year-old next month. A younger deputy is always a more sensible approach.
West Ham United are also reportedly in the race to sign Ranocchia, despite securing the services of Jose Fonte from Southampton last week.
Speaking of an ideal solution, La Repubblica claims that the Lilywhites, alongside a number of clubs, are keeping tabs on Lazio’s centre-back Stefan De Vrij. The Dutch international’s contract ends in June 2018 and attempts by his current club to extend his deal have been fruitless. At the age of 24, there’s a big uptick for Spurs boss. Besides the age factor, he is a strong, composed and a reliable tackler. De Vrij was an academy product of Feyenoord and reaped up positive reviews with the senior squad too.
If Pochettino is genuinely interested in the Dutchman, a summer attempt is way better as De Vrij would only have one year of contract left and Daniel Levy will be more than happy to splash the cash on a bargain.
The Spurs boss will be hoping that Alderweireld returns as soon as possible to calmer the selection chaos at the back. Meanwhile, either Wimmer or Davies will be given the nod to govern the centre-back role. With Wanyama or Dier effectively shielding Tottenham’s rearguard and Pochettino’s blueprint of attackers dropping deep when needed, they should be able to perform well despite missing two key players. This sort of time is where the whole team needs to show their true mettle to highlight their title credibility.