Tottenham facing life without Modric: Who can they sign as his replacement?
July 9, 2012 1 Comment
With Harry Redknapp’s dismissal at Tottenham and Andre Villas Boas’ appointment, it is expected to be a busy summer in the transfer market for the White Hart Lane club. After painstakingly missing out on Champions League qualification due to Chelsea winning the tournament last term, despite finishing fourth, star playmaker Luka Modric is widely expected to leave north London for pastures new. A new creative spark will be needed in Spurs’ central midfield for the side to challenge for the top four next season if the Croatian leaves, but who will Villas Boas select as Modric’s replacement?
Villas Boas’ first signing comes in the form of Icelandic attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, who has put pen-to-paper on a switch from Hoffenheim. The Scandinavian impressed on loan at Swansea during the second-half of last season, and certainly looks to have the potential to replace Modric. Seven goals in 18 appearances for the Liberty Stadium outfit is an excellent return for a midfielder, whilst Sigurdsson has shown superb quality with the ball at his feet and from set pieces. A strong addition to the Spurs squad, but Villas Boas may well look to add another creative player this summer.
Part of the Portugal side that made the Euro 2012 semifinals, Moutinho’s stock certainly rose in Ukraine and Poland. The diminutive midfielder showed excellent battling qualities alongside Miguel Veloso for the Iberian nation, and was a key creator of chances for the side. With Villas Boas having coached Moutinho at Porto, there is a good chance he will return to his old stomping ground for reinforcements.
The Turkey international is another name been linked with a switch to White Hart Lane, after a poor debut season at Real Madrid in 2011-12. Sahin was the Bundesliga player of the season in 2010-11 and a key member of the title-winning Borussia Dortmund side, but has found opportunities limited at the Santiago Bernabeu. Tricky, sure on the ball, intelligent and with Madrid one of the interested parties in Modric, Sahin could find himself on his way to England.
This Brazilian playmaker has been on leading European clubs’ radars for the last number of seasons, and rightly so. Ganso has impressed for Santos both in the Brasileiro and Copa Libertadores, inspiring the Vila Belmiro side to glory in 2011. A feature for the Brazil national side also for the last 12 months, Santos have recently admitted that they will part with their star midfielder if a sufficient offer arrives. Spurs have been linked with him in the past, and could well revisit if Modric leaves.
Another Brazilian wonderkid, the Internacional man is not as well-known as Ganso, but certainly a talent. Oscar has recently been named in the Brazil squad for the Olympics and the player himself has admitted that Spurs have been in touch. At 20-years old the schemer would be an investment for the future, and if he gets a few outings at the London Games any work permit issues will be eradicated.
Looking closer to home, this Fulham star has grown in stature over the last 12 months and as such is now being touted with a move to one of England’s top six. Dembele as shown versatility to play either in the centre of midfield or further forward as a second striker, but looks more adept in the engine room. Part of a talented generation of Belgian players coming through the ranks, Dembele’s range of passing and eye for a through-ball could be appreciated at White Hart Lane.
Certainly an outside bet, however 18-year-old Maher has potential in droves. The AZ Alkmaar man has starred for the Eredivisie side over the last 12 months, showing great pace, skill and energy, and was recently voted Holland’s Young Player of the Year. Part of the provisional Netherlands squad for Euro 2012, the teenager has already made his international debut and has a bright future ahead of him. Despite this, Villas Boas may well opt for someone more experienced.
Published – Bleacher Report