You’re not going to believe this rumor, but according to Dan Kilpatrick in the Evening Standard, Tottenham Hotspur are going to prioritize the signing of a new left-sided central defender when the January transfer window opens.
I know, right? Shocking!
I’m teasing Dan, of course, but this is an obvious move for Spurs to make in the wake of Monday’s loss to Chelsea and the significant hamstring injury to Micky van de Ven. We still haven’t gotten an update on Van de Ven’s hamstring and may not for a day or so, but it sure looked like a bad one and if it’s a Grade 3 tear he could miss 4-6 months of action. Spurs were already thin in central defense and are now perilously thin without Micky, so bringing in a player who can deputize in his absence and also push him for a starting role when he comes back is just common sense.
Kilpatrick notes in particular Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly, whom Spurs attempted to sign on on deadline day this summer. That move didn’t pan out, but he’s apparently a player whom Spurs maintain an interest in and could go back in for. Do yourself a favor and don’t look at Kelly’s data bars on FBRef — it’s not great, but Bournemouth are also a bad team, and there’s probably a good reason why Spurs’ data nerds are looking at him. There will almost certainly also be other options that emerge in January, and with Tottenham’s new data and recruitment team now in place, odds are there will be new names on that list in due course.
That’s not going to help Spurs much in the meantime — more on that later — but it does make a ton of sense and bodes well for the future. And who knows, Micky might make a horce placenta-fuelled miracle return ahead of schedule.