Sunderland youngster Dennis Cirkin has claimed that he is unaware of any rumours currently linking him to Tottenham.
The 20-year-old came up through the youth ranks at Tottenham and now plays for Sunderland in the Championship. Recent reports had suggested that Antonio Conte’s side were plotting a move to bring him back.
Cirkin completed a move to the Stadium of Light for an undisclosed fee in August of last year. Since his arrival at Sunderland, he has been a consistent member of the first team.
The youngster featured in 37 league matches for the Black Cats as they were promoted from League One last season.
His versatility makes him a valued asset for Sunderland, who clearly rate him highly. He is happy to operate at either left-back or centre-half.
The former Spurs player has spent the majority of this season playing as a left-sided centre-half in a back three.
Given the system Spurs have adopted since Conte’s arrival, Cirkin does tick a lot of boxes for the way they currently play.
Spurs are not alone in their interest though as Brentford have also been linked with the youngster.
Cirkin is focused on Sunderland
The player himself has explained that he is unaware of any interest in him and that he’s focused on Sunderland.
Cirkin scored the winning goal for the Black Cats over the weekend as they beat Wigan Athletic 2-1.
After the match, the 20-year-old explained (via Sunderland Echo): “I haven’t heard about any of these rumours, I’ve tried to stay away from it.
“I just try and play for Sunderland and I’m just trying to get back in the team here and that’s my main goal.”
Sunderland have adapted well to life back in the Championship and currently sit ninth in the table. Tony Mowbray’s side are only two points off the playoffs and will be keen to keep Cirkin around.
The defender has started in nine of Sunderland’s 14 Championship matches so far this season.
He is an assured defender, who also offers a threat at the other end of the pitch. Cirkin has two goal contributions this season and has made a good impact in the Championship.
Across his nine appearances this season, Sunderland have kept two clean sheets.
Given how tight the Championship is this season, there’s no reason why Sunderland can’t challenge for the playoffs.
Spurs’ interest makes sense
Given that Conte’s side tends to play with a back three, a long-term option at left centre-back would make sense.
Conte currently has Ben Davies and Clement Lenglet to pick from in that position. Given that Davies is approaching 30 and Lenglet is only on loan, this position will need to be strengthened.
In the past Tottenham have been no stranger to delving into the EFL to snatch up young talent.
The likes of Ryan Sessegnon, Jack Clarke and Djed Spence all made a name for themselves in the Championship before Spurs picked them up.
Conte’s teams of years gone by have usually been built upon their defensive stability and so this position is crucial.
They have kept things relatively tight at the back so far, having only conceded 10 goals this season. Only Newcastle currently have a better defensive record, having conceded just nine goals.
Cristian Romero, Eric Dier and Davies have formed the base of Conte’s most-used backline so far.
Daniel Levy will be well aware that the current Spurs squad currently ranks as one of the oldest in the Premier League, with an average age of 27.1.
As this is the case, it would make sense that they are looking into some younger stars to freshen up the group.