Ukrainian Messi

With the left-sided problems we have in the team as discussed on several occasions, yesterday being the last one, Tottenham have been searching for a solution.

Erik Lamela has flopped. I see him more as a right sided player than left anyway but if you look at who we have on the left none of them have made the role their ow, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Christian Eriksen are central midfielders, Nacer Chadli, has done nothing on the wing except for a goal at Newcastle had his best game for us as a central midfielder and Andros Townsend is a master at blasting the ball into the stands.

Ukrainian Messi
Yevhen Konoplyanka 'Ukrainian Messi'
Spurs have been scouting left-sided solutions and the name in the frame lately has been Yevhen Konoplyanka, the Dnipro left winger who looked a cut above our guys. All players it seems have to have a tag and this guy has been touted as the 'Ukrainian Messi'.

His club president, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, has confirmed we are in talks to sign him from under the noses of Liverpool and that the player would rather play for Spurs as he prefers the though of life in London to Merseyside.

“I have contact with the Tottenham president. I am talking with him. He is interested in Konoplyanka. We are in the stage of negotiations and are perhaps close to signing a contract if Yevhen agrees.

“Liverpool was just some representatives talking on the phone. Talks with Spurs is entirely on another level.

“I do not want to criticise the 'Liverpool', but if I was interested in football players, I would have done it a week or two before.

“If Spurs want Konoplyanka, I’d happily sell. London life is better than Liverpool. Spurs’ interest is strong and advanced.

“I talked with Konoplyanka. Of course, he had regrets, but [move to Liverpool] failed purely due to technical reasons.

“I’m ready to let any player leave; we can’t break his sports career. But on the final day, Liverpool failed to do a deal. They failed themselves. It was purely technical reasons.

“I’m ready to let go of any player because we can not break a career, we cannot break players’ destiny.”

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The 24 year-old Ukrainian (25 on 29th September) would cost Daniel Levy in the region of £15 million but all is not cut and dried with this guy as Liverpool thought they had signed him in January only for the president to refuse to sign the papers.

He is a player with pace, vision, creativity and he can pass to a team mate, something our wingers seem to have great trouble with. He has great dribbling skills and has had more dribbles in the Europa League than all bar one player. His close control is excellent, he is an upgrade on Townsend

Last September Ukraine played England and Konoplyanka gave Kyle Walker the run around, although Walker wasn't helped by an inept performance from Theo Walcott in front of him. Walker consistently had two players to content with that night while Walcott was powdering his nose somewhere up field.

He started in the Ukrainian league aged just 17 and represented Ukraine at Under 19 level. He played in the 2011 European U21 finals in Denmark and was a regular in the senior squad during the run up to and in the 2012 European Championships.

In 9 World Cup qualifying games for Brazil he has scored 3 goals with 2 assists. In this seasons Europa League he has scored 4 goals with 3 assists from just 8 games, while in the Ukrainian Premier League he has 5 goals and 3 assists from 17 games.

He of course scored a penalty against us and hit the post at White Hart Lane. It is safe to say he has an end product and looks a step above the average players AVB had us buy last summer.

If Konoplyanka is signed then it puts a serious question mark over the future of Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela and possibly Andros Townsend, who David Moyes would like to take to Old Trafford.

We can't keep all the central midfielders we have, you'd expect Jake Livermore to leave, Lewis Holtby, Etienne Capoue, Gylfi Sigurdsson must all have question marks hanging over them.

With the lack of passion the side have been showing Tim Sherwood must be wishing he still had Lewis Holtby even if he didn't appear to rate him, at least he'd have been guaranteed 100% every game.




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