Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Club urged to complete ‘economical’ but controversial signing of Tottenham star

James Holland
Steven Bergwijn Tottenham

A Champions League club has been told to complete the shrewd signing of a Tottenham star, which would have controversial consequences.

Tottenham look set for a major overhaul in January as manager Antonio Conte and director Fabio Paratici get to work. They might need a host of captures and departures if Conte is to drag them back into the top four.

The north London outfit are firmly in the race for Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic. However, the goalscorer is also on the wish list of several other European clubs. Man City and Juventus are the most notable examples.

Recent reports suggest Fiorentina are willing to accept less than their initial valuation for Vlahovic. A bid of just £34m could be enough to bring him to England.

Spurs are also searching for Hugo Lloris’ replacement in goal. The skipper could leave for free when his contract expires in June.

Jordan Pickford and Sam Johnstone are both under consideration, although pundit Paddy Kenny reckons they should settle on the world-class Jan Oblak.

One team-mate who could follow Lloris out of Tottenham is winger Steven Bergwijn. The Netherlands international cost £27m when joining from PSV but has never lived up to his potential.

His record in a Spurs shirt stands at just four goals in 60 appearances.

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Dutch journalist Malentjin Driessen reckons Ajax should move for the 24-year-old next year.

However, the signing would be a controversial one. That’s because of the rivalry between Bergwijn’s former club PSV and the Amsterdam outfit.

Following Ajax’s narrow 1-0 win over Sparta, Driessen said (via Sport Witness): “Ajax can really use Steven Bergwijn, it became clear [against] Sparta.

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“The places where Bergwijn would come into his own were moderately to poorly occupied: striker, ten and right winger.

“An advantage is that as a [sub] it makes him worth less. The ego of a manager like Conte is far too big to take into account the market value of a player.

“That’s why he’s an economical option for [Marc] Overmars to sign Bergwijn on loan first and then buy him. For relatively next to nothing.”

Conte admits Tottenham journey will be ‘bumpy’

Meanwhile, Conte was recently asked about the task he faces. He will need to get the very best out of his players if they are to get anywhere near Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City.

“I have never taken teams that had won the year before, but always reconstruction paths. Juventus came from eighth place, Chelsea from tenth, Inter from fourth.

“I know it will take a little patience this time. In Milan I left a finished job. Here I have to start over and enter the current season, which is never easy.

“We are starting from a-b-c, but on the way we plan to accelerate with the letters of the alphabet. The path is bumpy but it doesn’t scare me, it excites me.”

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