It’s the winter of young Brazilian wingers at Tottenham Hotspur, apparently. Spurs have already been linked to Bordeaux’s Malcom and are reportedly still interested in PSG’s Lucas Moura, who has been forcibly shoved out of Paris.
The Italian media were the first to link Spurs to a move for Ajax’s David Neres back around Christmas, and we wrote about it back then. Now those rumors are popping back up again. According to Goal Brazil, the 20-year old right winger is now on Spurs’ radar as a “plan B” if they aren’t able to strike a deal with Bordeaux for Malcom.
Neres has been at Ajax for nearly a year, having signed on January 21, 2017. It took him a little while to get up to speed but he was starting regularly in the Eredivisie by the end of last season and this year already has eight goals and 12 assists in all competitions. His star is on the rise and his stats a bit eye-popping, and he’s starting to get interested glances from other, bigger clubs.
Goal reckons he might cost between €40-50m on a permanent deal, but notes that his wages are likely to be less of a burden than Malcom’s (which strikes me as a bit of an odd thing to say considering that both are 20-year old players who have only recently broken into the first teams in their respective clubs).
Here’s his highlights video, courtesy of Rafael, the Best Football Channel of YouTube™.
You can see the technical ability that Neres has in those highlights. The kid is fast as hell, very skilled with the ball at his feet, and he’s got flair by the bucket-load. He seems to have good vision to see open teammates and is juking Eredivisie defenders out of their boots. That’s all super exciting! He looks in way like Marcus Edwards (and I wonder if this is what Edwards would look like in the Dutch league).
There are observers of Neres on Twitter and elsewhere that suggest that he can disappear from games and that his stats are perhaps a bit inflated. Based on his radar Neres doesn’t seem to shoot a whole lot, but he’s pretty accurate when he does. It’s also not clear how his skills would translate to the Premier League, especially coming out of the Eredivisie (remember Vincent Janssen?).
But that’s kind of what you get when you look at talented young players, though. There are no guarantees, and what you’re purchasing is the promise of future development. All I can say is that after dipping my toe in the David Neres waters again this month, I’m still pretty excited by what I see.
I still have no idea if or when Tottenham will make a purchase during this window, but if David Neres is a backup option, that’s a pretty exciting option.