Tottenham Hotspur are considering four options as they aim to add a quality right-back for Antonio Conte during the January transfer window, according to a report.
Right-back has been an area of concern for Tottenham this season, despite them having three options in the role. Emerson Royal has started the bulk of their matches, but is yet to convince with his ability. Behind him in the pecking order, Matt Doherty hasn’t been used as much, and neither has questionable summer signing Djed Spence.
Any of the trio could be facing an uncertain future. A loan exit is possible for the young Spence, who impressed in the Championship with Nottingham Forest while on loan from Middlesbrough last season.
Whoever departs, Tottenham will want to sign an upgrade to keep Conte happy. With that in mind, they have been linked with a few options to strengthen the position.
For example, they have been keeping a keen eye on former Manchester City man Pedro Porro after coming up against him with Sporting CP in the Champions League.
There have also been links with Inter Milan wing-back Denzel Dumfries, who arrived at the Serie A club just after Antonio Conte left them in 2021 and has impressed since.
According to a report from Football London, both players are on the shortlist of Spurs director of football, Fabio Paratici.
In relation to Porro, there are some concerns he isn’t physical enough for Conte’s style. Besides, Sporting head coach Ruben Amorim has warned any suitors for the Spaniard that they will have to meet his €45million release clause (£39.8million).
Likewise, Dumfries will cost a significant transfer fee after featuring at the World Cup with the Netherlands, where he was at one stage described as “breathless”. What’s more, the Dutchman has been linked with other clubs too, such as Manchester United.
Hence, Tottenham appear to be broadening their list of options. And according to the report, there are two other potential targets in contention who have also been linked with Man Utd.
Vanderson and Gusto become alternative Tottenham right-back targets
The first to get a mention is Vanderson. The Monaco man was mentioned as an option for Man Utd in August and September, although things have gone fairly quiet since.
Now, Paratici is showing appreciation for the 21-year-old. However, there is a risk that Monaco will ask for a high transfer fee due to having Vanderson under contract until 2027.
Also emerging onto his radar is another Ligue 1 option, Lyon’s Malo Gusto. The 21-year-old was recently linked with Man Utd as well, but represents the kind of profile Spurs want to build around.
He has a good mix of experience and potential. What’s more, there are only 18 months remaining on his contract with Lyon.
That said, Conte would like to see him contribute more going forwards before deciding he is suitable for Spurs.
Therefore, Tottenham will be weighing up all four of their options to decide who would be the wisest addition. But Conte will be keen to find someone he can rely on as an upgrade to Emerson.
The report also warns that the Brazilian is more likely to be sold by Spurs than Doherty due to the latter’s versatility. Emerson may also have a higher market value due to his younger age.
Spurs would then be hoping to reinvest in a more reliable option. Only time will tell who they decide to bid for.
Who should Spurs choose?
Although Vanderson and Gusto are worth considering, perhaps Tottenham’s original ideas of either Dumfries or Porro ought to remain their priorities.
Dumfries in particular has established himself at a good level with Inter and Holland. Porro is also proving himself on the European stage.
If Tottenham have been tracking them for the longest, there must be a reason behind it.
But it is sensible to be considering alternatives too. Neither Vanderson nor Gusto should be dismissed too easily.
That said, if they can get a good deal for Dumfries, he might be the best fit for Conte’s system.
With the head coach’s own future unclear, though, Spurs must make sure they are investing in someone who can outlast the coach and still be useful to whoever succeeds him.