Tottenham Hotspur could seal a defensive upgrade this summer transfer window if recent reports are to be believed…
What’s the latest on Spurs’ interest in Fikayo Tomori?
Earlier this month, Italian outlet Calciomercatoweb.it revealed the north Londoners’ interest in AC Milan centre-back Fikayo Tomori, who appears to be a target for sporting director Fabio Paratici, regardless of whether Antonio Conte remains in the dugout or not.
It’s thought that Spurs could put forward an attractive swap deal involving right wing-back Emerson Royal in a bid to land the Englishman’s signature, though they would have to offer a sizeable fee alongside that too.
Whilst it remains to be seen how much the defending Serie A champions would command for their title-winning colossus, the former Chelsea graduate is currently valued at €40.1m (£35m) by FootballTransfers.
Is Tomori better than Eric Dier?
Perhaps uncharacteristically, Conte’s side are among the poorest teams defensively in the Premier League right now, with no other side in the top ten conceding more goals than Spurs.
For further context, fifth-placed Newcastle United have leaked 20 fewer goals, whilst both Fulham and Brentford have shut out the opposition more times this season.
Much of the Italian’s success as a manager has been built on solid defensive foundations, with both his Chelsea and Inter Milan title-winning sides renowned for their stubborn prowess at the back, but in north London, it’s been a completely different story.
His back three, and goalkeeper, have struggled for consistency and Tomori could be a sizeable upgrade to the underperforming unit.
During Milan’s run to the title last season, the England star was among Stefano Pioli’s top-five best-performing players and only goalkeeper Mike Maignan registered more minutes on the pitch, via WhoScored. He led the squad for tackles and interceptions, and was a solid ball-player too.
In fact, Tomori still ranks within the top 6% of his positional peers across Europe’s elite divisions for tackles per 90, via FBref, who have also likened his statistical profile to that of current Lilywhites colossus, Cristian Romero – he’s probably been the best of a bad bunch at Hotspur Way.
Whilst the Italian giants have struggled to replicate their form from last season, Tomori has still been a standout and subsequently, his form suggests that he could well be a mighty upgrade on Eric Dier.
He was recently described as being “nowhere near the required level” by journalist Ryan Taylor and it’s easy to see why, with Spurs struggling defensively and the England international playing the third-most minutes in the Premier League this campaign.
In terms of defensive attributes, Tomori leads Dier for key metrics such as tackles (2.59 vs 0.94), tackle success rate (64.7% vs 58.3%) and blocks (1.41 vs 1.12) per 90, whilst also losing fewer aerial duels (1.24 vs 1.43) per 90 too, via FBref.
It’s a similar case on the ball as well, with the Milan gem providing more progressive carries (0.92 vs 0.27) and progressive passes (3.73 vs 3.14) per 90, meaning he’s looking to advance the play forward rather than play the safer, sideways or backwards ball.
On that evidence alone, Tomori – who was once dubbed as a “huge talent” – would be a considerable upgrade to Conte’s backline, with Dier surely most at risk of losing his place with such an arrival.
Paratici, therefore, must look to bring the 25-year-old back to his home country this summer.
AND in other news, Paratici blundered on “extraordinary” 47 y/o, his team scores more than Conte’s Spurs…
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