Tottenham to battle Everton and Leicester for Baptiste Santamaria
Tottenham Hotspur are monitoring French midfielder Baptiste Santamaria, but are likely to face competition from fellow Premier League clubs Everton and Leicester City. This claims comes from a report in the Daily Express (h/t Football.London).
Santamaria, who plies his trade in Ligue 1 for Angers, came through the youth ranks at Tours before joining his current club in 2016. The defensive midfielder has enjoyed a rapid rise in stature ever since, drawing comparisons to Chelsea superstar N’Golo Kante due to his ball-winning abilities in the middle of the park (h/t Football.London).
The 25-year-old has made 30 appearances in all competitions in 2019/20, scoring and assisting one goal apiece. Santamaria has won 91 of his 135 attempted tackles in Ligue 1 this season. Only Eduardo Camavinga has made more successful tackles than the Angers midfield ace in the French top flight this term.
Santamaria’s form clearly hasn’t gone unnoticed with our club reported to be monitoring him along with fellow PL rivals Everton and Leicester City (h/t Football.London).
Need for a defensive midfielder
It is well-known that Mourinho prefers to play with a tough-tackling, ball-winning midfielder in his teams. But Victor Wanyama’s sale and Eric Dier’s preference to move back to the centre-back role (h/t Independent) means Tottenham are lacking a player of such qualities.
Harry Winks has done a great job this season, but he is not an archetypal Mourinho defensive midfielder. So, bringing in a proper, out-and-out No.6 this summer would be a step in the right direction for our club.
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As to whether Santamaria would be the right man for the role, the 25-year-old has been in fine form this season in Ligue 1. But given his lack of experience at the topmost level, there could be apprehensions that he could go down the same road as Benjamin Stambouli.
It remains to be seen how Tottenham go about their business in the transfer window with the finances likely to be negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.