If you are a resident of the United States, I highly recommend flipping on FOX Deportes at 7:15 pm ET. If you are a resident of the UK who is not really into sleeping, I highly recommend flipping on Premier Sports tonight. If you do so, you will see a man named Eduardo Vargas playing for Universidad de Chile. La U are in the second leg of the Copa Sudamericana final, taking on LDU Quito. La U won the first leg of the tie in Quito, with Vargas scoring the goal.
Vargas is the leading scorer in the Copa Sudamericana, with nine goals. He is arguably the superstar and the face of La U at present, and has been key in their 34-game undefeated streak between domestic football and the Sudamericana. He's already made a name for himself with the national team at 22-years-old and is very much in the first choice 23 of Chile.
Vargas has, inevitably, drawn a lot of comparison to Alexis Sanchez. His countryman was first noticed as a Chilean youth international before making his move to Udinese. There, he quickly morphed into a world class player and was picked up by Barcelona, where he is now a first choice player over Pedro and arguably, over David Villa.
While there are things that are similar about the two, Vargas is not exactly the same player. He might not have as high of a ceiling either, but he's a player that certainly has a future in European football.
Vargas doesn't have quite the same level of straight line speed as Sanchez, but he is also not as small and as slight of build. He's a smaller player, but has a build that could allow him to play as a striker in European football if he was in the right situation. However, more likely than not, his best position is as a right forward in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, cutting inside.
Universidad de Chile plays with three at the back at the moment, and they've played both a 3-3-1-3 and 3-1-4-2. While it's unlikely he'll be playing in either system in Europe, the shift between the two still shows off his versatility. He's played in a two-striker system with a strike partner and as a wide forward, cutting in.
Vargas's technical skill and pace are spectacular. He regularly runs through the mediocre defenses in South American football, looking like the ball is glued to his feet before he applies a fantastic finish. However, this is something that often gets him into trouble and that he will have to change at the next level. He often dribbles into traffic and gives the ball away easily when he should have passed. More likely than not, this can be coached out of him and isn't any kind of inherent flaw.
If you follow the rags, you've probably seen Vargas linked pretty extensively to Chelsea. Over at We Ain't Got No History, Steven did a great profile of him and I recommend checking it out.
Vargas would probably cost around £10 million, and in my opinion, he is talented enough to be well worth it. His inclusion in a Tottenham Hotspur starting XI would cause a slight shift in tactics, but nothing dramatic. He'd fit best in our team on the right in a 4-4-1-1/4-2-3-1, cutting in from the right side. This would put pressure on Scott Parker to stop counter-attacks and Kyle Walker to get forward and hug the touchline, but we've seen this season that both players are very competent in each regard.
Is this a realistic purchase? If Chelsea are genuinely interested, not really. But Vargas is the type of player who Spurs need to be looking at. He's got the talent to eventually play for any team in the world if he reaches his full potential, but he's not yet attracting the attention of the Barcelonas and Real Madrids of the world. This transfer would be very similar to Sandro's in price, notoriety, age and level of accomplishment before moving to Europe, so it's not outside the realm of possibility.
Having said that, this is "Daniel Levy's Imaginary Shortlist" for a reason. We haven't heard anything linking him to Spurs yet, and who knows if we ever will.