Tottenham Hotspur are in the thick of a Premier League title race, but that doesn't stop the transfer mill from running. AS is linking the first year Real Madrid midfielder, Mateo Kovavic, with a move away from the Bernabéu and cites White Hart Lane as a possible destination.
The report is in Spanish, but the gist of it is that Kovacic has fallen out of favor at Madrid since Zinedine Zidane took over, and he's looking to make "a sporting decision" that would take him to a club where he can get regular starts in the Champions League. He's also linked to Sevilla.
The Croatian international is a gem, but was put in an incredibly tough spot upon joining Madrid. Kovacic is an out and out central midfielder who can play in the hole as a #10 or can be deployed further down the pitch as deep lying playmaker. He is neither a true winger, nor a defensive midfielder, thus the ask from him was a big one – win one of two spots in Madrid's starting eleven from the likes of Luka Modriç, James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos, or Isco.
Needless to say, his playing time has been somewhat sparse in La Liga this year. Yet when he was on the pitch, it is clear that he is putting forth the effort to make an impact. Below is an infographic produced by our own Michael Caley which shows the lung-bursting nature of Kovacic's game.
This is not just impressive, its special. Kovacic's play though goes well beyond his supreme fitness. He is not the physical specimen of a Yaya Toure, but his strength and pace is a handful for any adversary. He has a tight touch, is fluid going forward, and can strike a football from distance effectively. CFC writer Jake Meador referenced that Kovacic plays similarly to Mousa Dembélé. This is a wonderful comparison and in many ways the Croatian could be the perfect heir to our beloved Belgium. Kovavic might not be as a powerful or as graceful as Dembélé, but he has the potential to give more in his final product.
To put it bluntly, Spurs have been blessed with health this campaign. A few key players have picked up short term knocks here and there, but overall Poche has had a fit squad to choose from. If Champions League is a certainty (which it is not, I am sorry, old habits die hard), then a guy like Kovacic, whose game is tailor-made for a Pochettino press, is just 21 years old, and has more quality that a Ryan Mason or Tom Carroll, is a perfect signing.
This is bat country for sure, but a rumor that we should all hope persists. Kovavic does not even blink at Spurs without Champions League football or the allure of Poche as a manager. He is absolute quality and would be a wonderful fit at Spurs. Tottenham may have greater needs this offseason, but if Mateo Kovavic is available and willing, we would be foolish not to do everything in our power to sign him.