Tottenham admit transfer blunder as they pay the price for ignoring glowing Son Heung-min recommendation

Ben Stewart
Olivier Giroud of AC Milan looks on as Min-Jae Kim of SSC Napoli

Reports have suggested that Tottenham have admitted to making a mistake by not making a move for Napoli defender Kim Min-jae.

It’s no secret that Antonio Conte’s side were in the market for defenders in the summer transfer window. In the end they landed a loan deal for Barcelona’s Clement Lenglet.

The French defender is seen as a short-term option though as Spurs are unlikely to sign him on a permanent basis.

Tottenham have started the Premier League season well, but perhaps still lack depth in certain departments.

Cristian Romero, Eric Dier and Ben Davies have formed the base of Conte’s most-used backline so far.

In the Premier League, Spurs have only conceded 10 goals and their defence ranks as one of the best in the league. Only Newcastle have conceded fewer than Spurs have, with just nine goals against them during this campaign.

Conte was keen on bringing in several defenders in the summer transfer window, but a number of deals fell through.

The Italian manager will now have to work with what he has at his disposal until at least the January window.

Kim Min-jae was an option

According to 90min, Kim was on Tottenham’s radar all the way back in 2020 when he was playing for Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan.

Despite a glowing report from fellow countryman Son Heung-min, Spurs opted against signing the South Korean defender.

The report claims that ‘Tottenham were unwilling to spend more than £10m on a deal’ and the player instead moved to Fenerbahce the following summer.

Kim’s reputation has grown tremendously since joining Napoli. The 25-year-old signed for the Italian club this summer for a fee of around €18.05 million.

Napoli’s excellent start to the season has thrust the defender into the limelight.

Luciano Spalletti’s side currently sit top of Serie A and have excelled in Europe. As well as scoring plenty of goals, they have also kept things tight at the back.

Following the departure of Kalidou Koulibaly, it was feared that Napoli might have been more vulnerable at the back.

Kim hasn’t had any problems with adapting to the new league. Indeed, he is already a popular figure at his new club.

The 25-year-old has started in nine league matches so far and has scored two goals. Winning an average of 3.6 aerial duels and two tackles per game.

Man United are interested 

Given Kim’s excellent start to the season, Man United have been linked with a move for the Napoli defender.

It was recently revealed that he has a release clause of around £43.6million. The release clause can only be activated from next summer onwards, meaning Napoli are safe in January.

Given that Harry Maguire’s long-term future at Old Trafford is now in doubt, United would be wise to assess their options at the back.

Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane have formed a solid partnership at the back for Erik ten Hag so far.

The Man United manager will be keen to add more depth to the defensive department though and Kim would tick a lot of boxes.

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