French media claims Tottenham have stepped up to sign Ligue 2 defender – Report
Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing another budding centre-back, the 18-year-old Frenchman Sikou Niakate from Valenciennes, according to several reports. Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is well known for bringing young talent into the club and enhancing them to develop into big players for his team.
Now it appears that the Argentine has set his sights on the Ligue 2 powerhouse after having him watched in a Ligue 2 game over the weekend, as per French outlet Foot Mercato. Niakate, 18, is French-born centre-back who is eligible to play for Mali at international level.
The teenager began his youth career with Paris Saint-Germain before signing for Valenciennes, where he has established himself in their first-team. The 18-year-old only signed professional terms with Valenciennes in November, penning terms until 2021.
Niakate has impressed this season for the French outfit, making 13 appearances for the first-team, with 12 starts. That kind of impression, coupled with his performances this season, has put him on Spurs’ radar. The teen is already extremely powerful which is ideal for the British game should he move to Tottenham. He is highly-rated in France and is at an age where there is plenty of room for further development.
The North Londoners are blessed with a number of centre-backs but Pochettino is always on the lookout for young talent to improve his squad. Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are world-class centre-backs, but there always remains a risk of players being prized away in the current scenario.
Last year’s summer signings Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth have added further depth to the backline, meaning Pochettino has a lot of options in terms of defenders. Eric Dier can play in that position if need be, although he is more suited to playing in the defensive midfield role. So where would Niakate fit in should he make the move to London, remains to be seen.
With the young gun playing in the second-tier of French football, it is for sure that he is going to be available for a cheaper sum of money. Niakate, a highly-rated centre-back, would always be open to the prospect of moving to the Premier League.
The young defender is merely a prospect for the future at this stage rather than a difference maker for Tottenham’s starting XI but he is a name that needs to be kept note of.
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