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Daniel Levy's Imaginary Shortlist: Younés Belhanda

Could a dynamic Moroccan midfielder be the man for Spurs?

Mike Hewitt

It's January, so it's time to speculate about various transfer targets. Some of the players we're going to highlight will be unrealistic for us to obtain. Some of them will be very realistic, but not actually on the team's radar screen. Some might even be purchased.

If you're new to the site, we've done "Daniel Levy's imaginary shortlist" before. The gist of it is that the site's writers talk about a given player that we could conceivably want to sign, tell you a bit about him, then make an assessment about how realistic a deal is. We're not rumor mongering, just doing a bit of analysis.

Next up is Belhanda, the Montpellier young star and rising Moroccan international.

The Basics

Name: Younés Belhanda

Age: 22

Team: Montpellier HSC

League: Ligue 1 (France)

Primary position: Attacking Midfield

Can also play: Box-to-Box Midfield, Right Midfield

Belhanda, along with Olivier Giroud, led Montpellier to a shock Ligue 1 championship title last season. Belhanda tallied 12 league goals along with four assists in the campaign. However, as La Paillade's fortunes have fallen this season, it seems ever more likely that the championship team will be unloaded as the team rebuilds.

The Specifics

Belhanda has been a rising star through the Montpellier academy. Belhanda broke through the Montpellier first team in 2009-10 at age 19. Originally more of a defensive midfielder, his attacking talents were recognized as he moved into a number 10 role.

Belhanda has emerged as a modern playmaker at the position, dynamic in attack and bringing teammates into play. Belhanda combination of dribbling and pace stands out the most, as he has consistently been one of the trickiest midfielders in France. The midfielder has shown some proficiency on free kicks as well, as both a scorer and distributor.

New reports have Tottenham again linked with Belhanda. Belhanda's arrival would likely seem to signal a return to the 4-2-3-1, with Belhanda taking up his preferred number 10 position. However, it could be possible that Belhanda is moved deeper on the pitch or wide on occasion.

The Verdict

Likely price: €15m

Probability that valuation is wrong: Seems pretty likely, as there is little incentive to move Belhanda cheaply.

Team's willingness to sell: Medium. Belhanda's inconsistent play has earned rebukes, but he is easily the best player on Montpellier.

Fit at Tottenham Hotspur: Very Good

Possibility he ends up at Spurs: Uncertain. He has long been linked with Spurs, but recent reports had him deep in talks with Fenerbache. However, if those talks fall apart then the midfielder could find himself right in Daniel Levy's sights.

Grade if this transfer goes through at likely price: A-

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