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Report: Spurs linked with Atalanta’s Ruslan Malinovskyi

Ohhhh yeah this is the good stuff.

Ukraine v Armenia: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 1 Photo by Laskowski/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images

Who’d like a new out-of-the-blue Tottenham Hotspur incoming transfer rumor?



Oh yeah, this is the good stuff. There’s a new report out of Italy that says that Tottenham Hotspur aren’t done bringing in new players despite making their seventh signing just today. Tutto Atalanta is reporting that Spurs are “on pole” to bring in 29-year old Ukrainian international Ruslan Malinovskyi as another midfield option from Atalanta.

The report in Tutto Atalanta says that since Malinovskyi has only one year left on his current deal, Atalanta is willing to let him go permanently, but that Spurs are interested in a loan with a purchase option or obligation. Malinovskyi has reportedly already said he’d be fine with a move to Spurs.

Malinovskyi, 29, is not only a dribbly, left footed, creative No. 10 (an area that Spurs are reportedly looking at yet this summer), he’s also a set piece specialist. He works well in a pressing side, is very good at ball progression (a pretty good npxG+xA/90 of 0.56 in about 1600 minutes of action for Atalanta last season) and is especially good at progressive passing from deep positions. He’s also got a rocket of a left boot.

Now, Atalanta’s system under Gasperini has been... well, let’s just call it unique, and sometimes players that do well at Atalanta don’t always have their skills successfully transfer to other clubs. (On the flip side of that equation? Cristian Romero.)

But with a year to go on his deal, Spurs could probably get him for cheap, or even better a loan with an option. He’d be super fun in Conte’s system, and while he’s not a long-term solution he would certainly fill a need and for significantly cheaper than a domestic player at his peak like James Maddison. In fact, Maddison is one of Malinovskyi’s player equivalents on FBRef along with Hakim Ziyech and Lucas Paqueta.

And if you want a little non-football related spice to this particular rumor, check this out: apparently Malinovskyi’s wife recently followed Antonio Conte on Instagram. HMMMMM, EYES EMOJI! (It’s rather stupid that we can sometimes glean actual legitimate transfer news from what footballers’ WAGs do on social media, but it’s the Year of Our Lord 2022 and, well, here we are.)

Now, if Spurs were to bring in Malinovskyi or a player like him, it would call into question what the club has planned for players like Pape Matar Sarr and Bryan Gil, since Malinovskyi would almost certainly take whatever minutes are leftover for them. It wouldn’t make a ton of sense for Spurs to NOT send them out on loan in that situation, and with Spurs nearing their limit on foreign players for the Champions League it’s possible if they don’t go one would likely be left out of the squad.

But I kind of like the idea of Malinovskyi on a cheap deal or a loan. He’s a fun player and could add something to the squad that is currently missing. This is FAR from a solid source, but we’ve seen Paratici deals like this one go from the Italian rumor mill to a reality in a very short period of time. This one has made my eyes widen a bit, and I’ll be curious if any more smoke emerges on this rumor over the next few days.