In recent weeks, Tottenham have been heavily linked with 19-year-old Croatian striker Ante Rebić. Having witnessed a full match of his and numerous short bursts from time to time, I thought I'd try to inform the commentariat as to his potential fit at Tottenham.
Physically, Rebić is the ideal target man for Tottenham. At 6-foot-1, he is good in the air and strong on the ball, aiding his hold-up play significantly. He also has decent pace which, while not spectacular, helps him latch onto through balls very well, an attribute that has impressed me highly. His technical abilities are impressive for a player of his age and his control in tight spaces is excellent, however his passing could use work as he manages to pick up the ball in good positions and waste possession with a wayward pass to an onrushing midfielder. Rebić's shooting from range also leaves something to be desired, but from within the box he appears to be a confident and capable finisher.
My longest experience of Rebić was in Split's 4-1 victory over rock bottom Zagreb, in which he scored a brace. Both of his goals came from incisive through balls and in both cases he timed his run perfectly so as to stay onside. Neither of the finishes were anything special, but his positioning for both goals allowed him to make simple finishes past a none-too-impressive goalkeeper. It was also not only his goals that allowed him to influence the match, winning a (dubious) penalty for the side's third goal and laying on multiple chances for teammates to spurn time and time again. However, what struck me most in this match was not his play, but his attitude. Seemingly every time a call went against him, he appeared to throw his hands in the air and complain to the referee or an assistant. He also managed to earn a yellow card that should probably have been a red when he kicked out at a player that had just dispossessed him. His statistics also line up with a disciplinary problem, having picked up 11 cards in 31 games this season, a somewhat large number for a striker.
My opinion is that Rebić would be a good signing for Tottenham this summer, but he is not THE striker that we need, despite his great potential. I think he fits more in the Mauro Icardi category of forwards that we should sign as understudies to a proper first choice striker. If this were to occur and the price was reasonable (anywhere short of 8 million pounds or so), it would be an intelligent move as Rebić could take over the reigns in a few years time when he is more refined and his attitude is a little better. For now, Rebić is not THE striker Tottenham need, but one day, he very well could be.