Tottenham Hotspur need a right back. This is pretty much acknowledged fact at this point. Kieran Trippier twisted his ankle in Saturday’s friendly win over Juventus at Wembley Stadium, and was spotted wearing a protective boot and using crutches to get around afterwards, which leaves Spurs precariously thin at that position.
Compounding the chaos, Spurs’ links to Porto’s Ricardo Pereira appear to have dried up, and supposed interest in players like Serge Aurier haven’t really gone anywhere either. So, by way of warning, this means that Tottenham will instantly be connected to every young, dynamic, and relatively affordable right back in Europe until the end of the window. It’s going to be astoundingly annoying.
The most recent comes courtesy of the Daily Mail (sigh, yes, I know), who have linked Spurs to yet another Portuguese right back: Valencia’s Joao Cancelo.
Cancelo certainly ticks all the right boxes for a Spurs transfer target. He’s 23 years old, very fast, and attack minded. He’s most comfortable as a wing back, but can also play in right midfield, similar to Pereira. Last season he was a regular starter in La Liga, tallied a goal and four assists in 2400 minutes, and was one of the bright spots in an otherwise dreary season for Valencia. Cancelo is also a full Portuguese international, with three goals in five senior caps, and also played in this summer’s U21 Euros, where he played every minute of Portugal’s matches.
Cancelo is considered an offensive-minded fullback/wingback, which would fit Pochettino’s system pretty well, especially in a 3-4-2-1 formation. He doesn’t appear to be as polished defensively, but can be frightening (in a good way) going forward and passes the initial smell test for a Poch-style right back. He’s viewed as a potential future star, which probably explains why Juventus is making him one of their primary summer targets and consider him a possible replacement for Dani Alves.
The Mail says he could cost around £25m, which in today’s market isn’t bad at all. I have no idea how to rate this particular rumor. It’s making the rounds, but we all know about sources that originate in the Mail. Spurs pretty desperately need another right back, especially if Trippier is going to be out for any length of time — it’s simply not feasible to go into a season with reserve right back options that consist of a 20-year old academy grad who Poch says isn’t ready, and some combination of Eric Dier and Moussa Sissoko.