As the new Premier League season nears, Tottenham Hotspur will send a "delegation" to Germany next week to evaluate possible additions to Spurs' first team. So writes Matt Law in the Telegraph, who implies that Spurs could be evaluating a number of players as they seek reinforcements for the midfield and attack.
Law specifically notes that Spurs are heading to Stuttgart to inquire about and evaluate forward Timo Werner, but also specifically notes that Spurs are linked to defensive midfielders Christoph Kramer and Sven Bender.
First, Werner. It's been implied for a while now that Tottenham are looking less for straight line-leading strikers or foxes-in-the-box(es) and more versatile forwards who can play either up top or as wide inside forwards. Timo Werner fits that bill. He can play on either flank and could also fill in for Harry Kane up top in a pinch. Only 19, he was Stuttgart's youngest ever player when he made his debut at age 17 two seasons ago. Last year he wasn't exactly prolific, netting three goals and an assist in 32 league matches, but Stuttgart isn't a very good team. Werner's young and has a very high ceiling, and it might not be a stretch to think that he might want to greener pastures (and European competition). Law suggests it could take a bid of £10m to secure him.
What's more interesting is the Telegraph's name-dropping of Bayer Leverkusen's Christoph Kramer and Dortmund's Sven Bender. Spurs are reportedly still interested in a defensively-minded central midfielder and either player would be good additions. Christoph Kramer spent the year on loan at Gladbach, where he spent the season partnering Granit Xhaka in a defensive double-pivot. Kramer could partner very well with a similarly-minded player like Nabil Bentaleb, with both players alternating between playing defense and pushing the ball forward in midfield. The bad news is that Leverkusen just sold Gonzalo Castro to Dortmund, and Kramer just renewed his contract with Bayer through 2019. That, plus the recent retirement of Simon Rolfes means Kramer's likely an instant Leverkusen starter and is probably going nowhere this summer.
Sven Bender's name in particular has frequently come up on this site in particular as a player on the writing staff's short list. A German international, Bender is one of the more talented defensive midfielders in the Bundesliga, but he's coming off of an injury-plagued season where he only played 19 league games for Dortmund. Once linked to Arsenal, Bender would be a very solid choice, but a risky one, and he could cost around £20m. Dortmund's Sebastian Kehl just retired, which leaves an opening, but as mentioned previously, Dortmund just purchased Castro to fill his role and also purchased 19-year old Julian Weigl from 1860 Munich. This could potentially mean that Bender is on the market and could be tempted by a move to London. Hmmm.
Law's inclusion of Kramer and Bender indicates that this Spurs "delegation" is likely heading to Germany for more than just Timo Werner, though there's likely not a whole lot of information about who exactly Spurs could be evaluating. If Spurs are going to inquire about Bender or Kramer, that's super exciting news, as I'd be quite happy with either player as a partner to Nabil Bentaleb in Spurs' midfield.