While many Premier League outfits are yet to get going in the market this month, Spurs have already wrapped up deals for centre-back Radu Dragusin and versatile forward Timo Werner – and with Micky van de Ven and James Maddison now returning from injury, it’s an exciting time for the in-form squad.
The Australian manager had previously outlined his plans to strengthen across the park but it’s unlikely that a heavy outlay will occur given the spending so far – in other words, Conor Gallagher will not be transferring to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for £50m this month.
However, given the priority to bolster the backline heading into the window and Eric Dier’s imminent transfer to Bayern Munich, further activity could occur in this ara of the pitch if the right opportunity arises.
Spurs transfer news – Leo Ostigard
According to a report from Tottenham Hotspur News, Spurs are indeed scouring the market for a defender to replace Dier and appear to have circled on Napoli’s Leo Ostigard.
The 24-year-old has been a regular for the Serie A champions this term and has been noted for his fortitude and suitability as an ‘Ange player’, which Dier, frankly, is not.
It’s unclear what kind of fee the Norwegian ace would command if Tottenham were to advance discussions for his signature, but it’s likely that he could be an astute and affordable option.
Leo Ostigard’s season in numbers
Formerly of Brighton & Hove Albion, Ostigard never quite found his feet on England’s south coast despite several promising loan spells and completed a transfer to Napoli in 2022, though he started just four league matches as his side won the Scudetto.
Nonetheless, he has enjoyed incremental growth throughout his career and having been hailed as a “brilliant” player by Coventry City manager Mark Robins in the past has now emerged as an important member of his Italian team.
This term, as per Sofascore, Ostigard has played 12 matches in the Italian top-flight and has bagged one goal, completing 88% of his passes, making 1.4 tackles, 3.8 ball recoveries and 2.8 clearances per match and succeeding with 66% of his contested duels.
Just to put that in perspective, the highly-regarded Dragusin won 67% of his duels for Genoa in Serie A this season, so this is certainly promising when considering how Ostigard might slot into the Lilywhites system.
His distribution also surpasses the Romanian titan’s 83% average, and while he would have to make the move back to England with the knowledge that he would be serving a utility role, Postecoglou is targeting a return to European competition next year and there will be ample opportunity for him to catch the eye.
As per FBref, the 6 foot defender also ranks among the top 1% of positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for goals scored and the top 10% for aerial battles won per 90, and given that such attributes have placed Manchester United’s Raphael Varane as Ostigard’s most comparable player, perhaps it really would be a good idea to make a move this month.
Leo Ostigard’s style of play
The £25k-per-week star has been used sparingly across recent weeks in Naples and could now seek a second shot at the Premier League, with Spurs happy to accommodate. And given that he does share some similar traits to Varane, this could be a beneficial move indeed.
Leo Ostigard: Key Characteristics
*Sourced via WhoScored
Man United signed Varane, aged 30, for £41m in 2021 after an illustrious career with Real Madrid, and while he has only made 57 Premier League appearances in total thus far, his qualities have been clear to see on many occasions.
Somewhat out of favour this season, the 6 foot 4 titan has still been reliable when called upon and has completed 89% of his passes and won a staggering 88% of his aerial battles – Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, who is widely considered among the finest in the air worldwide, has won 82% of such duels.
While it’s not going very well for Varane right now, he remains one of the finest defenders of the past decade and boasts four Champions League trophies and the 2018 World Cup, with former Real Madrid teammate Toni Kroos waxing lyrical about the France international’s talents in 2022.
Kroos said: “He was a solid pillar for us alongside (Sergio) Ramos for many years. He did an outstanding job and is really the complete package.
“He doesn’t do miracles with the ball but is a highly awkward defender to play against. You can’t beat him in the air and, as I said, he’s incredibly fast, so you can’t run away from him either. He’s a good man.”
This aerial dominance is something that Ostigard offers and given that Van de Ven – who has been beyond impressive this term – only averages a 44% success rate in the Premier League, this is a potential chink in the armour that could be fixed this winter.
Ange Postecoglou wants to replace Harry Kane with a prodigious talent.
With Dier out the door, even the addition of Dragusin has not solely dealt with the lack of depth in the Spurs ranks, hence why snapping up a promising successor to the Englishman – such as Ostigard – could be worthwhile.
With it unlikely that Ostigard – who is valued at just (€30m) £26m by CIES Football Observatory – would take a sizeable chunk out of the transfer war chest, Postecoglou must now seal a swoop to complete his backline ahead of a crucial few months down at N17.