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Three AFCON stars Tottenham Hotspur should take a look at this January

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An intimate look at three players Tottenham Hotspur should take a look at during AFCON

AFCON has all the eyes of the world at the moment and Tottenham Hotspur will do well to take note. 24 teams divided into six groups will compete for the glory over one month. The intervention has caused trouble for many clubs that had to let go of their players to fulfil national duties.

Tottenham had to release two of their crucial players owing to national commitments. Ange Postecoglou will be without Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr for a brief period. Losing out on two of his first-team players will hurt the Aussie manager, especially now that the team is finding its form again.

The Lilywhites gaffer faced troubles in the form of injuries and suspension throughout the season. It all began with his string defender Micky van de Ven’s injury, followed by James Maddison. Few other players joined the list and Cristian Romero and Yves Bissouma’s poor disciplinary record added to the pressure.

Tottenham stars Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven impressed under Ange Postecoglou. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images).
Can Tottenham use the AFCON to bring in more players this year? (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The former Celtic boss managed to survive with the help of part-timers and inexperienced young players until help arrived. Thankfully the January transfer window opened up right in time for Postecoglou. He signed Timo Werner on loan from RB Leipzig and Radu Dragusin for the much-required defensive position.

There is still a spot left in midfield and AFCON will be the perfect ground for the Spurs recruitment team to graze for new talent. We bring you three potential talents that could do wonders with the North London club.

Ismael Saibari (Morocco)

An intimate look at three players Tottenham Hotspur should take a look at during AFCON.
Ismael Saibari has 10 goal involvement from 25 matches for PSV (Photo by MAURICE VAN STEEN / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by MAURICE VAN STEEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

The Moroccan midfielder is currently signed with PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch top flight. Ismael Saibari is known for his quick feet and versatility at the heart of midfield. He usually dons the number 10 role for his current club but also shines out wide. His exploits in 2023 have earned him a spot in the Moroccan national team.

Saibari boasts a strong youth career with Morocco, helping his side become the 2023 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations champions on his home soil. The Atlas Lions midfielder also earned a spot in the team of the year. The Barcelona-born youngster’s dribbling abilities will be an asset for Ange Postecoglou, who needs a replacement for James Maddison should the latter be unavailable ever again.

Saibari could be the poster boy for the North London club that promotes youth among their ranks. The 22-year-old can also sharpen his finishing skills under Ange Postecoglopu. Not to forget, the prodigy has amassed seven goals and three assists from 25 games across all competitions.

Edmond Tapsoba (Burkina Faso)

An intimate look at three players Tottenham Hotspur should take a look at during AFCON.
Tottenham failed to sign Leverkusen’s Burkinabe defender Edmond Tapsoba last summer. He is currently at the AFCON. (Photo by SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

The unavailability of a strong centre-back hurt Ange Postecoglou for a considerable period this season. The absence of Micky van de Ven and Cristian Romero at the heart of Spurs’ defence broke their spirits and the winning streak. Postecoglou managed to fill the void with the help of part-timers but that wasn’t quite effective.

The Tottenham boss used the January window to sign Radu Dragusin from Genoa to bridge the gap. The Romanian marked his debut against Manchester United. However, not in his usual position. Dragusin played as a midfielder after replacing Oliver Skipp. All these point to only one direction: Spurs need another solid CB option!

Tottenham should perhaps retry knocking on Bayer Leverkusen’s doors to attempt for Tapsoba once again. The Lilywhites pulled from the deal last summer due to the asking price. Needless to say, the 24-year-old has proven he is worth the billing. Edmond Tapsoba is a key member of the Bayer Leverkusen defensive unit that has conceded the least number of goals (12) in the Bundesliga.

The Burkinabe is also a prominent player for his national side. He was named in the Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament in 2021. The strong presence of Tapsoba and passing abilities can be milked by Ange Postecoglou, at least as a backup option or as a deterrence to Cristian Romero.

Lamine Camara (Senegal)

An intimate look at three players Tottenham Hotspur should take a look at during AFCON.
Lamine Camara scored twice in Senegal’s AFCON opener and Tottenham should kepe an eye on him. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

The player of the tournament at last year’s Under-20 AFCON needs no further introduction. The box-to-box midfielder could be a viable midfield option for Tottenham. Should the North Londoners eye the 20-year-old, it should be for a long-term deal.

Postecoglou is in dire need of James Maddison’s competitor within his squad. Ligue 1 side Metz will be forever indebted to Camara for helping the team secure a place in the top tier. He marked a strong start to the AFCON campaign by scoring two against Gambia in Senegal’s opening fixture.

Tottenham Hotspur could benefit from a calm midfielder of this calibre who also possesses goal-scoring ability. The youngster linking up with the likes of Son, Richarlison and Werner could be a massive threat in the opposition’s third.

Camara’s ball recovery is excellent despite being more of an attacking midfielder. His work rate matches his passing ability as well. Another advantage for Spurs should they wish to sign Camara will be a lower asking price.

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International tournaments can serve as auditions for players who might not be out there on the radar. The onus is on the clubs such as Tottenham to ensure they keep an eye on developments and land talents before they come household names. How well our scouts can do at the AFCON remains to be seen.

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