Home News Centre-backs Tottenham should sign in January to avoid injury crisis

Centre-backs Tottenham should sign in January to avoid injury crisis

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Centre-backs Tottenham should sign in January to avoid injury crisis

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Tottenham’s idyllic start to life under new boss Ange Postecoglou has taken a slight turn for the worse in recent days with Spurs now finding themselves in the midst of an injury crisis.

During the Lilywhites’ 4-1 defeat to Chelsea last Monday, summer signings James Maddison and Micky van de Ven both hobbled off injured, while Destiny Udogie and Cristian Romero will also miss games after receiving red cards.

Those absentees add their name to a growing list. Richarlison has announced he will undergo surgery, while the likes of Manor Solomon, Ivan Perisic and Ryan Sessegnon are all out for significant periods too.

Travelling to Wolverhampton Wanderers this weekend, Postecoglou is short on defensive options, especially centrally. With Ben Davies having only recently recovered from injury and Eric Dier not entirely trusted, Spurs find themselves light when their first-choice central defenders are missing.

So, with Tottenham set to prioritise a centre-back signing this winter, who may they target?

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Qarabag FK: Group H - UEFA Europa League 2023/24

Tapsoba was considered by Spurs last summer / Mika Volkmann/GettyImages

The narrative of last summer’s transfer window was that Tottenham were interested in two senior centre-back options: Van de Ven and Edmond Tapsoba. Spurs decided to sign Wolfsburg’s Dutch defender, a decision that looks incredibly wise given his initial performances in a white shirt.

However, given Tottenham clearly held a strong interest in Bayer Leverkusen’s Tapsoba, they could revive their pursuit of the Burkina Faso international in January. Whether the 24-year-old would want to leave Xabi Alonso’s side in the middle of a campaign in which they are performing so well is unknown, but the allure of the Premier League could prove too tempting.

Postecoglou is well known for wanting centre-backs with pace and the technical quality to play out from the back. Tapsoba certainly has those attributes, even if he remains a little erratic at times.

The Leverkusen defender would likely cost a small fortune to bring to north London which could dissuade Postecoglou from making the move given Tapsoba might not be first choice when all centre-back options are fit.

Lloyd Kelly

Kelly has been linked with a Spurs move / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Another man who interested Spurs during the summer was Bournemouth centre-back Lloyd Kelly, with Tottenham even seeing a £20m bid rejected for the 25-year-old on deadline day. However, it’s believed that the Lilywhites remain keen on bringing the Cherries defender to north London and may renew their interest in January.

A left-footed central defender also comfortable at left-back, Kelly could provide a direct replacement for Van de Ven when required, or even Udogie.

However, Spurs will have to fend off Premier League rivals Newcastle United and Liverpool, both of whom have expressed their desire to recruit Kelly, as well as Italian outfit AC Milan.

Goncalo Inacio

Inacio has been strongly linked with a move to England / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

Sporting CP centre-back Goncalo Inacio has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in recent transfer windows, with Liverpool and Manchester United the two English sides touted with significant interest in the Portuguese.

While Spurs don’t appear in the race for the 22-year-old, they could do a lot worse than turn their attention to Inacio. Someone also capable of filling in for Van de Ven or even competing for a starting berth with the Dutchman, the young defender would be an expensive but effective option for Postecoglou.

Fikayo Tomori

Tomori has impressed in Milan / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

A talented English defender already acquainted with life in London after his time at Chelsea, Fikayo Tomori is likely to emerge as a transfer target for a Premier League side sooner rather than later after continually impressive performances in Milan.

The 25-year-old is renowned for his speed, ticking one of Postecoglou’s boxes, and also has Premier League and Champions League experience. Tomori is adept at playing out from the back as well, making him a player perfectly capable of fitting into this current Tottenham team.

Ben Godfrey

Godfrey has been linked with north London / Jess Hornby/GettyImages

A somewhat forgotten name at Goodison Park, Everton’s Ben Godfrey could materialise as an option for Tottenham in the January window. The 25-year-old has barely stepped foot on the pitch for the Toffees this term after underwhelming Sean Dyche, but Spurs could prosper.

Both Tottenham and Newcastle are long-term admirers of the English centre-back and could take advantage of Everton’s willingness to listen to offers.

Godfrey has showcased his versatility across the backline since joining Everton and such flexibility could tempt Postecoglou amid his current injury woes.

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