Transfer News: Tottenham Hotspur keeping tabs on highly-rated Dynamo Kiev defender Ilya Zabarnyi
Big names have been linked to Tottenham Hotspur this summer but one name which has emerged as a potential target is a relatively unknown one – Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kiev’s 19-year-old defender Ilya Zabarnyi, as per Football.London.
A centre-half by nature, Zabarnyi can play on either side of the defence which ticks a very important criterion that Antonio Conte is after. Spurs are specifically looking for a defender who can play “on the left of the three” and Zabarnyi’s versatility at such a young age could be valuable.
Zabarnyi has a long-term contract at Dynamo, having signed a five-year deal only last October but with the current state of affairs which has led to the suspension of all sporting activities in Ukraine, the future of Ukrainian football and associated clubs and players remain uncertain.
Spurs have so far completed the signings of Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster on free transfers and according to the Guardian, a deal for Middlesbrough fullback Djed Spence is also over the line.
That would make it three arrivals already at Hotspur Way with the transfer window only having officially opened yesterday.
Should Spurs make a move for the Kiev prospect?
To understand what makes Zabarnyi such an exciting prospect, it is important to understand what he has done so far in his career.
He put in a commanding display to inspire Kiev to victory against Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in the third qualifying round of the 2020/21 Champions League. The Ukrainian club went on to qualify for the group stages.
A month later, he became the second-youngest player to represent Ukraine at 18 years and 36 days. By the end of that season, he had become a regular first-team member and played an instrumental role en route to Kiev winning the Ukrainian league and ending Shakhtar Donetsk’s dominance.
Spurs can use a young centre-back to lead the line for the future. It is anyone’s guess if Conte gives regular playing time to the Ukrainian- granted he signs for the Lilywhites- but there is no doubt that the team needs a defensive signing.
Ben Davies has done a decent job in defence but it’s not advised to continue with a left-back in a three-man backline. Conte must address this issue in the summer summer and ensure that he has a number of centre-backs he trusts.
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Japhet Tanganga and Joe Rodon clearly aren’t the men for him, given their lack of minutes. Hopefully, Zabarnyi is.