Tottenham Hotspur are in a commanding position transfer-wise this month, having completed key bits of business with two weeks of scrabbling yet to occur as teams scuttle about seeking shrewd signings to boost their chances of seasonal success.
Level on points with fourth-placed Arsenal in the Premier League (who, albeit, have a game in hand), Ange Postecoglou‘s side have been impressive this season but it was clear that the crux of the issues over the past few months centre around the squad’s thinness.
Centre-back Radu Dragusin and former Chelsea forward Timo Werner have been added to the fray, but the search for a centre-midfielder goes on, with plenty of time in hand, of course.
Spurs’ search for a midfielder
Probably the most salient name attracting attention from the Lilywhites is Chelsea star Conor Gallagher, who was subject to a failed £40m approach in August and is back on the radar this month, with Todd Boehly and Co eager to cash in and reinvest elsewhere.
The Independent recently claimed that the £50m-rated England international is ‘still top of the list‘, but after expenditure elsewhere, it’s unlikely that interest will coalesce into something of genuine substance this month.
For this reason, it might be wise for Tottenham to prioritise the capture of Kalvin Phillips from Manchester City, with the 28-year-old available on loan for just £6m and of interest to the Lilywhites, according to Football Insider.
It’s believed that a deal can be agreed over the coming weeks and he would bring some proven mettle to the engine room, perhaps even ahead of a clause to make the deal permanent in the future.
It’s shaping up to be a busy month…
How Kalvin Phillips compares to Yves Bissouma
Phillips is a combative and techically adept player and seeks to recycle possession and push the play forward from his deep-lying midfield role, having been described as a “monster” midfielder by erstwhile Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie.
Signing for Manchester City from Leeds United for £45m in 2022, Phillips might have won the treble last term but he has been on the periphery for the entirety of hisn Sky Blues career, starting just twice in the Premier League since his arrival.
Nonetheless, he offers skills that would improve Spurs’ midfield, ranking among the top 1% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for pass completion and passes attempted, the top 8% for shots taken, the top 11% for clearances and the top 19% for aerial wins per 90, showcasing his multi-functional approach, as per FBref.
The £150k-per-week ace might even prove to be an upgrade on Yves Bissouma, with the tough-tackling, tenacious Malian catching the eye under Postecoglou’s wing but marred by numerous red cards and consequent lapses in form.
Also heralded as a “monster” of a player – by journalist Aaron Stokes – Bissouma, aged 27, ranks among the top 2% of positional peers for pass completion and the top 3% for tackles made per 90, though he has indeed missed five league matches due to suspension already this season.
Given that he is now absent on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, Postecoglou must be somewhat disgruntled by his lack of discipline, which is in turn affecting his fluency and match fitness in the group.
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Phillips would be the perfect option to bolster the centre and ensure that Spurs have a rock-solid star to battle Bissouma for the No. 1 spot, and for such a small fee it has to be completed this month.