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The Lane Opinion- Three Players Tottenham should track at the Asian Cup

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Postecoglou sheds light on Hojbjerg's discontent at Tottenham.

The AFC Asian Cup will be a fine place for the Spurs scouts to recruit talents from Japan, Qatar and South Korea

The AFC Asian Cup is progressing quite well with 24 teams battling it out for the ultimate glory and Tottenham will be well served to keep an eye on proceedings. Qatar is the host and the standing champions. Even though the tournament lacks popularity as compared to the UEFA EURO, Copa America or AFCON, the AFC Asian Cup had no dearth of talented teams and players.

Japan has won the tournament a record four times with Saudi Arabia right behind with three win times. Japan has always boasted strong individuals on their side. They are also considered impenetrable in the modern-day AFC Asian Cup saga. South Korea have always been around and now the emergence of Middle Eastern countries has made the competition intense.

The AFC Asian Cup is an ideal destination for clubs like Tottenham Hotspur to search for talent. Ange Postecoglou‘s side needs some reinforcement as they recently got a reality check. Spurs had registered a strong start to their Premier League campaign by finishing the first 10 games without tasting defeat.

Tottenham went first ten games without tasting defeat.
Tottenham went first ten games without tasting defeat. (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

The club was left in shambles following a series of injuries and suspensions. The panic situation is somehow diffused at the Spurs camp following the return of some players and January arrivals. Timo Werner has added a much-needed depth up front and Radu Dragusin has fortified the backline.

However, the Spurs boss is left without his biggest star Heung-min Son due to the latter’s Asian Cup commitments. He is also without Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr who have left for AFCON. Tottenham Hotspur should send their scouts to fish for fine talents in the Asian Cup. Here are three fits according to us.

Takefusa Kubo (Japan)

Takefusa Kubo in action for Japan
Takefusa Kubo in action for Japan. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Kubo is undoubtedly the most looked-upon youngster in the tournament. The Japanese attacker spent his youth days with Barcelona but it was the Real Madrid contract that earned him global fame. Kubo was destined to play for the Castilla unit for the Los Blancos. However, he was loaned out to Mallorca, Villareal, and Getafe.

Takefusa Kubo became the first Japanese player to sign for Real Sociedad and that’s where he found his form. He is now one of the most sought-after youngsters in La Liga despite the presence of talents from Real Madrid and Barcelona. Kubo is just 22-year-old but his impact has been massive.

The story of the forward is not much different in terms of international duties as well. He was selected to the Japana U-20 national team for the 2017 U-20 World Cup at the age of fifteen! He earned a senior call-up right before turning 18. Dubbed as the Japanese Messi, Kubo’s burst of pace and dribbling skills is something Tottenham can milk. Even though Kubo does not possess the poaching skills as much as Harry Kane, he could bring in what Gareth Bale once did.

Min-jae Kim (South Korea)

Tottenham Hotspur hold Son Heung-min 'advantage' in Napoli defender Kim Min-jae race.
Kim Min-jae was the Serie A defender of the year in 2023 . (Photo by Simone Arveda/Getty Images)

The talismanic defender broke Heung-min Son’s four-year streak by winning the South Korean footballer of the year award. The 27-year-old has made quite a reputation after his stints at Fenerbahce and Napoli. He left Italy on a high after securing the Scudetto and the Serie A Best Defender of the season.

Bayern Munich announced the signing of Min-jae Kim immediately after and added him to their strong defensive lineup. He has now forged a formidable partnership with Dayot Upamecano. Min-jae is the first Asian defender to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or, further skyrocketing his value.

He has been an instrumental figure on the South Korean side since 2017. The Bavarian defender has 55 appearances under his belt. He was also a part of the 2018 Asian Games gold medal-winning team alongside Son. A defender of this calibre will fortify Spurs’ stronghold.

Min-jae will be an intimidating presence guarding Tottenham’s defence, something the team needs sooner or later. He could also be a learning figure for the newly emerging Micky and a deterrence for Cristian Romero.

Almoez Ali (Qatar)

Almoez Ali has never left Qatar as a professional
Almoez Ali has never left Qatar as a professional (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

The hero behind Qatar’s 2019 AFC Asian Cup glory needs no further introduction. His poaching abilities helped him score nine goals and bag the top scorer of the tournament award. The striker has always been stringent with his national performance.

The only missing piece in the 27-year-old’s CV is a foreign tenure. Ali has never played outside Qatar and now is the perfect time for the Qatari captain to look for new challenges. Tottenham have found their rhythm with Richarlison, however, the Brazilian has yet to convince the team about his consistency.

A poacher like Almoez Ali will add depth to the attacking front and can start as a second fiddle to the current Spurs forwards. The Premier League will be a whole different ball game for him, but there couldn’t be a better place to start his new challenge than the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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Ange Postecoglou has better sent his scouts to Qatar to keep an eye on these stars and many others. Now that the Aussie head coach realises the importance of squad depth, this move is more important than ever.

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