We’re only nine days into the January transfer window and already Tottenham Hotspur fans are getting antsy. That’s likely because of the incredibly important stretch of matches coming up that includes this weekend’s home North London Derby and two games against Manchester City.
Most fans would point to right wingback as the position of greatest need, and today Dan Kilpatrick writes in the Evening Standard that Spurs have identified Sporting’s Pedro Porro as their top transfer target this month.
There’s a lot to like about Porro, who at 23 seems to fit the attacking profile that Conte wants out of his wingbacks. He’s played against Spurs twice and has impressed in both matches. Porro is great at exploiting space going forward and would be a plus asset in the counterattack. He’s certainly an exciting player and loves to take defenders on the dribble.
However, there are a couple of considerations that should give some pause. First is that he’s not the greatest passer, with only a 69% completion rate, which FBRef rates as the 15th percentile compared to other wing backs. Spurs are a team that already struggles to pass the ball well, and Porro would be another in that mold. It’s also not clear whether he would be nearly as good or as good a fit in a tactical system outside of Antonio Conte’s, or something similarly structured.
The other area of concern is price — Porro has a purchase clause of €45m (£39.6), and Sporting have publicly insisted that any club interested in him meet it or go away. Assuming Sporting hold firm, that’s a lot of money to bet on a young player who will be new to the Premier League and who has some not-insignificant question marks. In addition, Manchester City, who sold Porro to Sporting in 2019, have a buy-back clause of around £17.6m, and it’s unknown whether that would factor into any potential sale. I suspect this is a transfer that will take a while to get going and could go to the end of the window.
In addition, the Standard says that Spurs are interested in purchasing two other players in this window in addition to Porro — another attacker to complement the front line, and a long-term successor to Hugo Lloris in goal.