Tottenham Hotspur linked to Roma attacking midfielder Miralem Pjanic

Paolo Bruno

So far this summer, Tottenham Hotspur has been linked to players who aren't true deep-lying playmakers. Is a permanent change in formation coming?

Tottenham Hotspur were linked to AS Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic earlier in the month by Gazzetta Dello Sport (via Calcio Mercado, couldn't locate original), and those rumors popped back up today. Take it away, Tancredi Palmeri.

It's useful to note that Palmeri is just passing along the TV report, so don't go jumping down his throat if this isn't true. Sky Italia, you may remember, has gotten scoops on big stories recently while also getting a lot wrong. They seem to have a much lower bar than Sky Sports in the UK, which is amazing.

For funsies, let's assume this is true, because we have no reason to believe that this report is reliable or that the transfer is unrealistic. Where would Pjanic play? How does he fit into the team?

He is, like a lot of guys that we've either been linked to or signed under Andre Villas-Boas, not really a pivot player. He's been the glue guy between Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi in a lot of his games for Roma, but has also played as the most advanced midfielder in their midfield three at times, and also as a wide forward. He's a versatile player with great touch and passing ability, but he's been a bit inconsistent since moving to Serie A.

I don't think his experience and defensive skillset lends well to him being a great option in a two-man center of midfield, which is how I've always felt about Lewis Holtby and how I still feel about Moussa Dembele. We keep picking up or looking at guys who are not really pure No. 10s, but not defensive midfielders or deep-lying playmakers either. That, combined with AVB's tinkering at the end of the season, seems to indicate to me that a permanent switch to 4-3-3 is in the works. Pjanic would fit that well.

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