The longer this summer transfer window goes — what do you mean “the window hasn’t technically opened yet”? — the more it becomes clear that Tottenham Hotspur are probably going to be looking for another central defender to bolster its defensive depth. Kevin Wimmer appears to be on the outs at Spurs, and Cameron Carter-Vickers is just 19 and is probably a ways away from making a significant first team impact.
Pursuant to that, David Hytner claims in the Guardian that Spurs are kicking the tires on Dortmund’s young German center back Matthias Ginter. The 23-year old Ginter primarily plays CB but can also play right back or defensive midfielder, and could command a fee of around €17m.
So on the surface this looks like a pretty astute “Poch signing.” Ginter is young, and a regular starter for Dortmund — he was a regular in BVB’s back line this past season, playing 3300 minutes in all competitions including the Champions League and only picking up six cards, all yellow. He’s young enough to fully buy in to Pochettino’s methodology, is comfortable playing in a back three (something that apparently Kevin Wimmer was not), and can play in a couple of roles, giving him positional flexibility. He’s also a full German international, with nine caps.
That said, I don’t know much about him and don’t really watch the Bundesliga, so I reached out to our friends at Fear the Wall, SBN’s Dortmund blog. Here, paraphrased, was their take on Ginter.
LOL, no, he’s bad. He's consistently been the weak link in BVB's defense for the past 2 or 3 seasons. Don’t bother, basically he’s BVB’s Moussa Sissoko.
That’s... not a glowing endorsement. In fact, our own Alex Greenberg, who also writes for FTW, wrote up this rumor over there, and it appears as though Dortmund fans would be glad to see him go, preferably for as much money as they can squeeze out of Spurs. The Sissoko analogy feels remarkably apt here.
There’s a reasonable opinion that suggests that Ginter has room to improve and that Pochettino might be the manager who could develop him, but based on everything I’m reading, £15m is a lot of money for a guy that may not be an upgrade over Wimmer.