Tottenham Hotspur are considered the front-runners to secure coveted transfer target Stefan de Vrij, according to reports…
What’s the word?
Italian outlet Calciomercato claim Spurs are interested in a move to sign the Inter Milan centre-back and the Serie A champions could be open to selling him in the future.
His departure could raise finances to subsequently reinvest in a younger alternative, one that will be of more use to Simeone Inzaghi in the long term.
It remains to be seen how much de Vrij would command, though Transfermarkt currently value him at £45m, with his contract set to expire in the summer of 2023.
Would Stefan de Vrij be an upgrade to Spurs’ current back three?
The Lilywhites may remain unbeaten in all three matches under Antonio Conte, but their defensive problems are bubbling beneath the surface and sooner or later, this will be a big problem for the 52-year-old.
It is no surprise that he is targeting the addition of two new centre-backs this winter, per Duncan Castles.
Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez played a big part in last season’s turmoil at the back, whilst Japhet Tanganga and Joe Rodon may not be considered ready, and even left-back Ben Davies has been filling in as the only left-footed option.
Their problems have evidently continued into the current campaign as Spurs have the worst goal difference of any team ranked 16th or better right now.
Whilst summer signing Cristian Romero is seemingly acing a pretty length stint on the sidelines with what has been described as a “serious” hamstring injury.
The Netherlands international is someone Conte knows well from their time together at the San Siro, where last season, he not only contributed to their title triumph but also towards them having the best defensive record in the league.
He will know too well about the Italian’s demands and system, so he would need little time to settle in and that not to mention his obvious qualities as an experienced 54-cap colossus.
In 2020/21, de Vrij averaged an impressive 93.8% passing accuracy across 32 appearances, excelling with the ball at his feet, on top of two aerial duels won and 1.3 interceptions per league outing, via WhoScored.
“Stefan is a great defender and deserves to be at a big club. He’s very tall, he’s strong and fast, he runs a lot – he’s a monster!,” claimed ex-Lazio teammate Mauricio to ESPN (via Football Italia), before later adding: “He’s a calm defender who never gets agitated.”
Also dubbed a “world-beater” by former top-flight striker Noel Whelan to Football Insider, the Inter Milan beast could be exactly what Conte needs to kickstart his era in north London.
Given their issues defensively, he could quite easily become Spurs’ biggest and best signing since Heung-min Son, who has made a big impact over the years.
Lilywhites chief Fabio Paratici must look to seal a move for de Vrij as early as January.