News broke last night that Spurs are in the process of signing defensive midfielder, Benjamin Stambouli, from Montpellier. There has been plenty of speculation linking Tottenham with a variety of players but this move has come out of the blue, demonstrating how little the tabloids and ITKs sometimes know.
Swansea and Fiorentina were rumoured to have made offers for the player, with interest also reported from our North London rivals. Stambouli is a particularly attractive option because, with just one year left on his contract, Montpellier are keen to sell at a reasonable price.
The deal is reported to be for around £6 Million pounds, much less than Spurs’ original target Morgan Schneiderlin is likely to have cost. Some sources quote Southampton demanding more than £25 Million for their want-away midfielder.
Stambouli is only 24, and normally plays just in front of the back four, though he has also featured at centre back and both fullback positions due to injuries and suspensions at his current club. He sounds less of a box-to-box than Schneiderlin, maybe more similar to Capoue – primarily defensive but with good ball distribution. Even at such a young age, he has captained Montpellier on occasion and is officially vice-captain.
Stambouli’s arrival indicates Pochettino isn’t convinced by his current options. With a plethora of centre midfielders already in the Spurs squad, it now looks likely at least one will leave, with Sandro the most likely candidate.
For the second time in a week Spurs seem to have given up on an expensive and complicated target and bought a cheaper but less exciting option. First we swapped Musacchio for Fazio, now Schneiderlin for Stambouli. Is this clever business from chairman Daniel Levy or short-sighted penny pinching?
Schneiderlin is not only a great player but also Pochettino’s man – a trusted leader on the pitch, a friendly presence in the dressing room. Someone to transmit the manager’s ideas to the rest of the team. This has a bit of the feel of our failed pursuit of Moutinho under Andre Villas-Boas.
On the other hand, Spurs are still getting a quality player and the money saved can be put to good use improving other areas of the team. As long as Pochettino is happy and has had input into the decision process, then on balance this seems like good business.
Do you think Stambouli is a good signing for Spurs? Let me know in the comments below.
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