Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly targeting Atalanta wing-back Joakim Maehle this summer to solve a key Antonio Conte problem.
Conte has made his managerial name throughout Europe with his 3-4-3 system. While the three centre-backs offer vital protection at the back, the wing-backs are crucial in both attack and defence.
Spurs have had a problem recruiting full-backs since the departures of Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier.
On the right, Serge Aurier, Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty have all shown glimpses of talent without nailing down the role. On the left, Ryan Sessegnon remains a developing talent, with Sergio Reguilon the main option.
Conte tried and failed to sign Adama Traore for Tottenham in January. The Italian wanted to convert the Wolves winger into a right wing-back.
And heading into the summer transfer window, the Daily Mail adds that Conte is looking at adding Denmark star Maehle on the left.
A Euro 2020 semi-finalist with Denmark, the defender has nine goals from 25 games for his national side.
In Conte’s famous 3-4-3 system, an attacking-minded defender is required to make runs down the wing.
The Atalanta star also has experience against Premier League opposition. Maehle featured in both legs as Atalanta took on Manchester United inside the Champions League this season.
Tottenham director of football Fabio Paratici, formerly of Juventus, is looking to raid Serie A again.
At 24 years of age, Maehle has time to further improve in his role.
Joakim Maehle career so far
Maehle signed his first professional contract with Danish side AaB in 2016 as a 19-year-old.
Solidifying himself as a regular starter in his first season, Maehle then earned a move to Belgian side Genk in 2017. The wing-back was signed as a replacement for Timothy Castagne, who moved to Atalanta.
The Dane enjoyed a successful spell in Belgium, making over 100 appearances for the club over a four-year spell.
Maehle then followed his predecessor to Atalanta in January 2021, for a fee of €10million (£8.5million).
Maehle could now be on the move once again, as Spurs will look to move early once the summer window opens.
Conte is set for a crucial summer transfer window as he looks to keep Spurs progressing on the right path. Champions League football for next season is the current aim, but Tottenham may fail to hit that target.