Tottenham Hotspur could land themselves a new Jan Vertonghen-like colossus this January after Antonio Conte’s transfer demands emerged this week…
What’s the word?
According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, the 52-year-old boss has requested defensive reinforcements, with two key targets in mind in Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt and his former Inter Milan centre-back Alessandro Bastoni.
Conte managed the latter during his Serie A title-winning campaign last season but it remains to be seen how much it would command to bring him to north London.
Transfermarkt currently value him at £54m.
Shades of Vertonghen
Bastoni played 33 times for the Italian in the league last season, featuring alongside Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij in his famed three-at-the-back system.
The trio contributed towards Inter recording the best defensive record in the division, so it’s no surprise that Conte would be keen to have him in his squad once again.
Unlike much of his current options at Spurs, Bastoni is a natural left-footer, so he would be of huge use in 2022, especially as the manager has had to turn to left-back Ben Davies to fill that left-sided role due to the lack of options.
Interestingly, the 22-year-old defender started life out as a full-back but as his career has gone on, he has developed into a solid central option, with his ball-playing ability and control two major strengths to his game.
This could, therefore, draw some similarities to Vertonghen, who was a crucial and influential defender in N17 for many, many years. He too was a ball-playing left-footer that could be deployed in the middle or out wide.
“He controls the opponent, space and with a refinement that has rarely been seen, reminds me of a young [Leonardo] Bonucci,” once claimed Italian journalist Mario Sconcerti.
The praise for Bastoni doesn’t just stop there, though.
Talent scout Jacek Kulig once lauded him as a “complete, dominant and elegant” centre-back, as well as being “Conte’s talisman” at the San Siro, whilst tactical analysts Top Bins Talk dubbed him a “Rolls-Royce defender“.
In Bastoni, Paratici could well discover Spurs’ new Vertonghen and he’s the sort of player that Conte could really do with right now on the left side of defence.
AND in other news, Spurs reportedly make “the biggest offer” to sign £31.5m-rated “animal”…