Tottenham Hotspur are apparently on the road to signing a new backup and/or cup competition striker, and one that will likely cost around £10-£15 million. Spurs have already been linked with Bournemouth's Callum Wilson, now Spurs are, according to SportsBild in Germany, looking at Borussia Mönchengladbach's Max Kruse. Papers like the Metro have also been reporting on this link, but they all claim that the original source is SportsBild. Let's see what our German source actually says:
Am weitesten in den Bemühungen schien lange Tottenham Hotspur zu sein. Der englische Traditionsklub soll nach Informationen von SPORT BILD Kruse bereits konkrete Zahlen vorgelegt haben. Pikant dabei: Kruse könnte beim Londoner Klub deutlich mehr verdienen als die bislang kolportierten fünf Millionen Euro brutto, die zuletzt als Wolfsburger Gehalt spekuliert wurden.
Hope that cleared everything up for everyone. Oh, you don't read or speak German? Well, SportsBild basically says that Wolfsburg, who are also rumored to be interested in Kruse, are not nearly as far along in negotiations with the player as Tottenham are. Spurs have already offered concrete terms to Gladbach for Kruse's services, presumably something in the neighborhood of his 12 million Euro release clause.
But, wait! What's this? Bild is reporting the Kruse has already signed a contract with Wolfsburg through 2019?
Der Wechsel von Max Kruse (27) nach Wolfsburg ist nach BILD-Informationen perfekt! Der Nationalspieler hat beim VfL einen Vertrag bis 2019 unterschrieben – die Tinte ist bereits getrocknet!
The ink has already dried, according to Bild. Interesting. Let's go to Gladbach's press conference before their match against Bayer Leverkusen. I wonder what Gladbach's director of sport Max Eberl has to say about this.
So, there you have it. No one knows anything. Aren't transfer rumors fun? It seems that Eberl acknowledges that Kruse is going somewhere, or at least that he anticipates Kruse will leave. He stops short of admitting that any transfer has actually happened though.
So, in the event that Kruse is still on the table, what does the 27 year-old bring to the table? Well, for starters, he has four consecutive seasons of 12 or more goals. Those are not eye-popping numbers, but they're not bad. Kruse's real value lies in his creativity. As a deep-lying forward, Kruse uses his hold-up play and passing ability to play tons of important passes and set his teammates up for scoring opportunities. Kruse has 9 assists this season and is averaging 2.5 key passes per game.
Kruse is fairly positionally flexible, he began his career in central midfield before becoming a striker in 2013. He's capable of playing anywhere from lone striker, to in the hole, to, in a pinch, central midfield. In addition, his crossing ability is also good enough that it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to see him play as a wide forward, though I don't think he really has the pace to be an effective weapon out wide.
Kruse is 27 and probably looking for a big payday. He could play Champions League football with either Gladbach or Wolfsburg, but neither can afford to pay him the same way that Spurs can. If Kruse is still available, then I think Spurs should definitely try and grab him.