Monaco are having a fire sale and Tottenham Hotspur may want in on the action. The Ligue 1 champions have already offloaded Bernardo Silva to Manchester City for a whopping €60m, and have brought in Youri Tielemans from Anderlecht to anchor the center of the midfield. More player sales are likely as the club seeks to capitalize on their run to the Champions League semifinals this season
Now, according to the print edition of L’Equipe (reported by Sport Witness), Spurs are taking a very keen interest in obtaining the services of 21-year old wide midfielder Thomas Lemar and could be ready to place a big bid.
At first blush, Lemar looks to be exactly the kind of player that could excel in Mauricio Pochettino’s high pressing, high octane offense. Monaco bought him at age 19 from Caen for just £3m, and he’s blossomed into one of the break-out stars in Europe this season. Stats Bomb did a nice write-up on him a while back and noted that while he’s not the fastest of wingers, he has good ball skills and the ability to beat defenders on the dribble.
Lemar played a lot on the left for Monaco this season, but has the ability to play anywhere along the forward attacking band, which makes him extremely useful in Spurs’ fluid attacking formation where players routinely swap roles and drag opponents out of position. That makes him an intriguing addition to an attacking midfield band that includes Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-Min, Dele Alli, and (hopefully) Erik Lamela. Is he a regular starter? Perhaps not immediately, but he’d certainly be in the rotation and would get plenty of match time.
Stats Bomb doesn’t really consider him much of a scorer, but he fired home 14 goals and notched 17 assists in all competitions for Monaco this season. You might remember that two of those goals came against Spurs in the Champions League — he scored in both legs during Spurs’ group stage matches.
L’Equipe isn’t the most solid of sources, but I have to say that I am very excited about this potential transfer. Lemar impressed me in the Champions League. At 21 he’s young enough that he still has room to develop, but has enough experience already that he should be able to contribute right away. He has good skills and solid instincts, and Monaco has already pretty much tipped their hand and indicated that they’re ready to cash in on their stars from this season.
L’Equipe doesn’t say how much Monaco might ask for Lemar, but considering they got €60m for Bernardo Silva, Lemar would likely command quite a bit. Monaco apparently rejected €25m from Atletico Madrid for Lemar last summer, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him go for around €40m (£35m).
That’s a lot of money, but Spurs were already reportedly ready to drop £30m on Wilfried Zaha, and I’d argue Lemar is the better player with at least equal upside. Better than, say, Moussa Sissoko. Hmm, Sissoko wants to go back to France, maybe they can do a player plus cash deal?