All right, time to start getting nuts. With Tottenham Hotspur on the brink of announcing a new Director of Football (Fabio Paratici) and manager (Paulo Fonseca), it’s well past time that the transfer rumor floodgates start to open. We should be up to our eyeballs in rumors right now, but because of the current instability at the club it’s been but a slow trickle.
But now we’re getting some good stuff, even if a lot of them are going to be in the context of Harry Kane’s pre-emptive departure. Take this one: Fabrizio Romano is stating that forward Nicolas Gonzalez is going to be leaving Stuttgart this summer, and that Spurs are interested.
Nico Gonzalez is expected to leave Stuttgard in the next days. Fiorentina offered €25m add ons included, Brighton interested too but Tottenham are now planning for a move. Fabio Paratici appreciates him - no official proposal yet from Spurs. ⚪️ #transfers @DiMarzio— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 12, 2021
Nico’s a versatile forward who can play as a wide attacking midfielder but is more often deployed as a center forward. It’s that tactical flexibility that is his main appeal — he’s a solid player and can fit into a number of different positions across the front line, depending on opposition or tactics. He’s coming off of a really bad year in which he missed 18 league games with three different injuries, but at age 23 he’s got a huge ceiling.
So he’s a Harry Kane replacement? Well, kind of. His FBref profile actually lists Kane as the most similar player to Nico’s profile. The one thing Gonzalez does really well is shoot. A lot, actually — he averages nearly 4.5 shots/90, which is more than Harry did this past season, and is 95th percentile in touches in the penalty area. Replacing shots is going to be extremely important for Spurs — with Gareth Bale (3.76 Sh/90) returning to Spurs questionable at best now that Carlo Ancelotti is in charge and Kane already halfway out the exit door, Spurs will need someone to actually shoot the ball — Erik Lamela was the next highest player on the team in Sh/90, with 2.77 and he’s also likely gone.
The Gonzalez rumors would put him in an offensively-oriented bucket along with Marcus Thuram, and I don’t know if Spurs would go after both of them, especially since a ball-playing CB is high on the agenda for this summer as well. But if Gonzalez is really only going for around £21m, that’s a steal, even with his nasty injury history last season. Spurs have already recouped about £16m from the sale of Juan Foyth and a sell-on clause from Marcus Edwards moving to Sporting Lisbon. They should be all over Nico, and if he ends up at Brighton I will throw things.