Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham ‘heavily watched’ Leeds starlet but opted to sign alternative

Eric Dier tussles with Joe Gelhardt during Tottenham vs Leeds, November 2021

Tottenham were keen admirers of striker Joe Gelhardt and came close to signing him before Leeds United did, a transfer insider has revealed.

Gelhardt put in an impressive shift for the Whites against Spurs at the weekend. It was his first start in the Premier League but he dealt with the occasion well. In fact, he completed the most dribbles of any player on the pitch.

He now has three top-flight appearances to his name. Opportunities for the 19-year-old have come about due to several injuries in the Leeds squad.

It could have been the other team he was playing for on Sunday, though. John Wenham has disclosed that Tottenham “heavily watched” Gelhardt when he was with Wigan.

“I was really impressed with Gelhardt,” he told Football Insider. “Leeds picked him up from Wigan.

“And I know he is someone who Tottenham heavily watched. He was in the same youth set-up team as Alfie Devine when we picked him up.

“It was annoying we couldn’t get him because he looked Premier League ready against us.

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“I think he will save Leeds a lot of money in the long-term. He looks like he will go on to be a top striker. He put some of our players to shame in that disappointing first half.

“I thought he was excellent considering it was only his third Premier League appearance.”

Antonio Conte 'keen' on Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo

Antonio Conte 'keen' on Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo

Tottenham are reportedly keen on sealing a deal for Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo, who’s struggling for game time under former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho, with more news on Matthijs de Ligt, Franck Kessie and Dusan Vlahovic.

Geldhart was part of an impressive Wigan academy which was picked apart when the now League One side entered administration.

Since moving to Leeds, he has scored 17 goals in 26 appearances for their under-23 side.

That form prompted Marcelo Bielsa to involve him in the first team picture. He won a penalty against Wolves last month to help rescue a draw.

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Spurs have defender lined up

Meanwhile, Tottenham are reportedly making a January beeline for the signing of an unknown defender to boost Antonio Conte’s backline ranks.

Spurs were already in need of centre-back additions before Conte came in. But the Italian manager’s favoured 3-5-2 formation means there is now urgent attention being directed towards the position.

The north London club have to bring a new body in come the winter transfer window to give their new boss a chance of success this season.

And their search has led them back to a former target who they laid eyes on in January of this year…

READ MORETottenham make January beeline for unknown defender to boost Conte ranks