The Fulham duo would prove clever deals for Ange Postecoglou this summer
Ange Postecoglou looks set to continue his squad overhaul at Tottenham Hotspur this summer, with the Lilywhites believed to be closing in on the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk winger, Manor Solomon, on a free transfer.
The Israeli international will help to bolster the north Londoners’ attacking ranks having spent last season on loan in the Premier League at Fulham, where he scored five goals in all competitions.
As per the latest speculation, the 23-year-old could be joined at N17 by one of his former Craven Cottage teammates, with Postecoglou and co said to be considering a move for towering centre-back, Tosin Adarabioyo.
According to football.london’s, Alasdair Gold, the 25-year-old is on Tottenham’s list of centre-back targets this summer, with the one-time Manchester City man potentially set to be available for a cut price fee with just a year left on his existing deal.
The hope will be that the addition of the 6 foot 5 ace can shore up a defence that shipped 63 league goals last season – the sixth-worst record in the division – with further depth evidently needed in the heart of the backline.
Any improvements to the club’s defensive record could also be made with the signing of a quality asset to operate in front of the back four, with Adarabioyo’s teammate, Joao Palhinha having been named as a target for Postecoglou, according to The Sun (01/07/2023; page 67).
To be able to bring in the Portuguese giant – who signed for the Cottagers on a £17m deal last summer – alongside his club colleague could allow Spurs to form a menacing partnership next term, helping to strengthen the club’s spine in the process.
How much would Joao Palhinha cost?
According to the Daily Mail, the former Sporting CP ace could command a fee of around £90m after a standout first season in west London, albeit with Football Insider claiming that the asking price could be closer to £50m. Either way, the 6 foot 3 “warrior” – as hailed by journalist Hunter Godson – would offer a dominant figure to Postecoglou in the centre of the park, with the 27-year-old having finished first in the division last term for tackles made (147).
Also described as a “special” player by his former boss, Ruben Amorim, Palhinha is truly a master at winning back possession for his side, ranking in the top 1% for tackles made among those in his position in Europe’s top five leagues, while also offering a commanding presence due to his impressive frame, as he ranks in the top 8% for aerial duels won.Adarabioyo is also adept in that regard as he ranks in the top 24% for aerial duels won, with opposition strikers unlikely to relish the physical battle that they would have to endure when coming up against the centre-back and Palhinha.
While Postecoglou is looking to implement a “fast, attacking style of play” – according to chairman Daniel Levy – the Greek-Aussie will be in need of defensive-minded figures like the Fulham duo who can offer some balance to the side, ensuring that Spurs are no soft touch next season.
With Palhinha operating as the midfield “connector” – as described by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp – ahead of the colossal figure of Adarabioyo, Spurs could have a solid foundation to build on next season, if those two deals can be wrapped up.