A mooted Tottenham transfer spree should target their defence after Antonio Conte was told three current defenders just aren’t good enough.
Conte arrived at Spurs after fostering a reputation as one of football’s serial winners. However, if the Italian mastermind is to continue his trophy-scooping legacy at Tottenham, his squad may first require major surgery.
Indeed, a recent report from Football Insider insisted ‘major signings’ were on the horizon.
The club were tipped to be preparing for a bumper January window in which several arrivals and exits would be sanctioned.
One player who could depart is Wales international, Joe Rodon.
The 24-year-old was reported in late-November to be seeking a way out of Tottenham. His reasoning apparently stemmed from his lack of minutes on the pitch. Newcastle have since been linked with the centre-back, along with Brighton and West Ham.
Conte primarily operates a three-man backline, with a solid foundation critical to his footballing philosophy.
However, according to Gabriel Agnbonlahor, Rodon and fellow centre-halves Davinson Sanchez and Eric Dier are all sub-par.
Tottenham trio don’t compare to Alderweireld, Vertonghen
Furthermore, the ex-Aston Villa forward insisted the trio aren’t a patch on recent fan favourites Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
“I just don’t think Rodon is good enough, to be honest,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.
“Eric Dier I don’t think is good enough, Sanchez is not good enough.
“Spurs haven’t improved their centre-halves since Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen were there. They were good centre-halves, they were strong.
“The centre-halves they have there are not good enough. I’m sure Conte, who bases his teams on their defence, will want to fix that problem by bringing in some centre-halves.”
Spurs want Gleison Bremer
Spurs are interested in Torino's Gleison Bremer.
Hopes are high Cristian Romero will develop into a leader in the Spurs backline. Ben Davies, meanwhile, has operated at left centre-back, though the Welshman may only be a stopgap fix.
If Conte privately shares Agbonlahor’s sentiments, a raft of new centre-backs signings could be in Spurs’ near future.
One player who could fit their bill and is reportedly on the club’s radar is Torino’s Gleison Bremer. The club reportedly took ‘concrete steps’ to sign the Brazilian following Romero suffered a serious hamstring injury while playing for Argentina.
Paratici puts Tottenham transfer on the back-burner
Meanwhile, Tottenham have told Ajax to back off over a deal for Steven Bergwijn until the busy Christmas period has finished, according to a report.
Talk of a move back to the Netherlands has emerged for Bergwijn. This time, though, it is Ajax – not former club PSV Eindhoven – who want to sign him. Boss Erik Ten Hag in fact vowed to “investigate” the chances of a January transfer.
Speaking on a podcast for De Telegraaf, journalist Mike Verweij revealed that Bergwijn could move back to his home country.
The reporter said: “That interest has been known to Bergwijn’s management for weeks, because that’s how it always goes. Ajax will never let themselves down that they want to get a player and that player says: ‘All nice and nice, but I don’t want to go to Ajax at all.’
“Management is always contacted first to ask how the player would feel if an attempt is made. Bergwijn has indicated that he really likes Ajax. And now Spurs came to Ajax with the question whether the interest in Bergwijn is serious. The answer was affirmative.”
In response, Verweij revealed that Spurs – led by director of football Fabio Paratici – have hit back. The club have told Ajax to put their plans to one side until their busy Christmas fixture list is over.