The centre-back candidate fact files

Mauricio Pochettino, Daniel Levy and Franco Baldini identified three main areas of the squad that needed improving this summer.

The centre-back candidate fact files


One those three, striker, left-back and centre-back, two were identified as the main priorities, centre-back and left-back. Fábio Coentrão from Real Madrid was the chosen man last summer and failure to sign him meant a starting berth for Danny Rose at left-back.

In a previous article the Spurs Left-back Candidate Fact Files I took a look at the candidates from a statistical point of view. There is one new addition to that list now in Brazilian Marcelo, like Coentrão from Real Madrid.

Time then to move on to the centre-backs and look at our options, starting with existing players and then our targets.

Jan Vertonghen remains first-choice but the future of the rest remains in doubt. There is plenty of interest in club captain Michael Dawson and he seems to be emerging as the favourite to leave. Fiorentina have made an offer to Younès Kaboul while Vlad Chiricheș's agent is also negotiating with the Italians who have a centre-back we are interested in, Stefan Savić.

It's quite possible two centre-backs could come in during this window. Dejan Lovren, Stefan Savić and Héctor Moreno seem our preferred options with Steven caulker as the back-up.

We have however been refused permission to talk to Lovren so have conducted preliminary negotiations over Savić. Pochettino and Baldini were in Spain to discuss a potential Moreno deal last week. We have a first refusal option on Caulker. Relegated Cardiff City are in debt still owing us money from his purchase last summer.

Existing candidates centre-back

1. Jan Vertonghen
Belgium
27 years-old (28 on April 24th) Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)
1.89 m (6ft 2in)
Under contract until 30th June 2016
Transfer Value £20 million (€25.02m)

The centre-back candidate fact files


Jan Vertonghen is the first-choice left sided centre-back who plays left-back for Belgium and doesn't like playing there for Spurs. A quality defender he let himself down badly last year with a series of displays that said I can't be bothered.

Injured at Anfield he looked delighted to be coming off and didn't play again for the rest of the season. Spurs fans will be expecting him to return to the quality defender we know he is, with his head in the right place.

Vertonghen made 23 appearances last season scoring no goals and created 9 chances. He had a 83% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 20m and won 67% of his duels. He made an average of 7 defensive actions and made 3 defensive errors. He received 4 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

2. Michael Dawson
England (home grown qualified)
30 years-old (31 on November 18th) Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur)
1.88 m (6ft 2in)
Under contract until 30th June 2016
Transfer Value £7 million (€8.76m)

The centre-back candidate fact files


Club captain Michael Dawson will be 31 in November. He rarely seems to be injured while all about him are on the treatment table. An old fashioned defender in as much as he throws himself in the way of everything while today's crop stick out a leg or even worse turn their back so precious doesn't get hurt.

Too slow to play a high line he proved everyone wrong in 2012/13 when he stopped a leaky defence and last season had constantly changing partners to worry about who were either coming back from injury, not interested or unable to adapt to the Premier League. Unsurprisingly it wasn't his best.


Dawson made 32 appearances last season scoring no goals and created 7 chances. He had a 82% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 23m and won 56% of his duels. He made an average of 11 defensive actions and made 4 defensive errors. He received 7 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

3. Younès Kaboul
France
28 years-old (29 on January 4th) Younès Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur)
1.90 m (6ft 2in)
Under contract until 30th June 2015
Transfer Value £7 million (€8.76m)

The centre-back candidate fact files


A quality defender who for one reason and another has only ever managed to give us one decent season. Has left Spurs in a dilemma having failed to recover any sort of form last season after his injury against Newcastle in August 2012.

He only has a year left on his contract so can leave for free next summer. Do Spurs give him another year in the hope he can recover form and thus earn a new contract or sell him now?

Kaboul made 13 appearances last season scoring 1 goal and created 6 chances. He had a 73% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 23m and won 59% of his duels. He made an average of 8 defensive actions and made 5 defensive errors. He received 1 yellow cards and 2 red cards (one rescinded).

4. Vlad Chiricheș
Romania
24 years-old (25 on November 14th) Vlad Chiricheș (Tottenham Hotspur)
1.84 m (6ft 0in)
Under contract until 30th June 2018
Transfer Value £10 million (€12.51m)


The centre-back candidate fact files

Vlad Chiricheș totally divides opinion, some overlook all the errors and see the ball playing skills, some overlook the ball playing skills and see all the errors. His agent claims he hasn't adapted to the Premier League and that the Italian league might suit his style of play better. If the club agree with that view then he'll be on his way, but Pochettino like a ball playing centre-half.

Chiricheș made 17 appearances last season scoring 1 goal and created 5 chances. He had a 89% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 21m and won 54% of his duels. He made an average of 7 defensive actions and made 2 defensive errors. He received 1 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

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Transfer Targets - Centre-back

1.Dejan Lovren
Croatia
24 year-old (25 July 5th) Dejan Lovren (Southampton)
1.88 m (6ft 2in)
Under contract until 30th June 2017
Transfer Value £15 million (€18.77m)

The centre-back candidate fact files


Reports suggest we immediately asked Southampton to talk to Lovren when we took Pochettino from them and were refused, he promptly handed in a transfer request by email that Southampton have not responded to. Clearly a top target then and I suspect the noises about Champions league are just to get away from the Saints.

Liverpool hold a strong interest but if the Lallana situation is anything to go by (Southampton added an extra £10 million to his transfer fee) then the Croatian will be overpriced.

Lovren made 31 appearances last season scoring 2 goals and created 4 chances. He had a 82% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 22m and won 58% of his duels. He made an average of 11 defensive actions and made 1 defensive errors. He received 7 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

2. Steven Caulker
England (home grown qualified)
22 year-old (23 on December 29th) Steven Caulker (Cardiff City)

1.91 m (6ft 3in)
Under contract until 30th June 2017
Transfer Value £8 million (€10.01m)

The centre-back candidate fact files


Transferred last summer to Cardiff City he has a clause in his contract giving Tottenham first option on buying him back. The Welsh sides relegation, debt and the fact they still owe us money from his purchase means he would be a cheap option to return to White Hart Lane in much the same way Younès Kaboul did when returning from Portsmouth.

Again Liverpool are interested in a player who on stats you could argue is the best of the candidates. Spurs are in need of finding a new stalwart for the club, a player to become the new Mr Tottenham, every club has them, perhaps he should now become ours, once Dawson goes there is not a figure to take his place.

Caulker made 38 appearances last season scoring 5 goals and created 9 chances. He had a 74% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 21m and won 58% of his duels. He made an average of 12 defensive actions and made 0 defensive errors. He received 1 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

3. Héctor Moreno
Mexico
26 year-old (27 January 17th) Héctor Moreno (Espanyol)
1.84 m (6ft 0in)
Under contract until 30th June 2016
Transfer Value £8 million (€10.01m)

The centre-back candidate fact files


Mauricio Pochettino signed him from AZ Alkmaar for Espanyol and he promptly became Player of the Season for the Spanish club. He knows Pochettino's style and the Argentinian knows him so with stories that he and Baldini were in Barcelona with Espanyol representatives does indicate we are trying to sign the Mexican international who caught the eye against Brazil.

His stats are not particularly impressive, particularly the duels won but his displays for Mexico suggest there is a sense of being able to read the game and anticipate trouble. Has the knack (which is down to reading the game) of being in the right place at the right time. No premier league experience but all our signing can't flop in their first season.

Moreno made 32 appearances last season scoring 1 goals and created 7 chances. He had a 78% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 23m and won 47% of his duels. He made an average of 8 defensive actions and made 1 defensive error. He received 8 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

4. Stefan Savić
Montenegro
23 year-old (24 on January 8th) Stefan Savić (Fiorentina)
1.88 m (6ft 2in)
Under contract until 30th June 2016
Transfer Value £9 million (€11.26m)

The centre-back candidate fact files


Was signed by Manchester City when he was only 19 and clearly wasn't ready for the Premier League yet. Has since gone to Italy and re-built his reputation as a quality centre-back.

Fiorentina are interested in taking Younes Kaboul and have been discussing a possible move for Vlad Chiriches with his agent so he would make a cheap option. He would have to prove he is ready for the Premier League, but is wanted by a host of top clubs which suggests he has improved significantly.

Savić made 31 appearances last season scoring no goals and created 3 chances. He had a 89% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 20m and won 58% of his duels. He made an average of 10 defensive actions and made 1 defensive error. He received 5 yellow cards and 0 red cards.


Quick Stats Guide

Jan Vertonghen - Premier League
Appearances: 23
Goals: 0
Chances created: 9
Passing accuracy: 83%
Average pass length: 20m
Duels won: 67%
Average defensive actions: 7
Defensive errors: 3
Yellow cards: 4
Red cards: 0

Michael Dawson - Premier League
Appearances: 32
Goals: 0
Chances created: 7
Passing accuracy: 82%
Average pass length: 23m
Duels won: 56%
Average defensive actions: 11
Defensive errors: 4
Yellow cards: 7
Red cards: 0

Younes Kaboul - Premier League
Appearances: 13
Goals: 1
Chances created: 6
Passing accuracy: 73%
Average pass length: 53m
Duels won: 59%
Average defensive actions: 8
Defensive errors: 5
Yellow cards: 1
Red cards: 2

Vlad Chiriches - Premier League
Appearances: 17
Goals: 1
Chances created: 5
Passing accuracy: 89%
Average pass length:21m
Duels won: 54%
Average defensive actions: 7
Defensive errors: 2
Yellow cards: 1
Red cards: 0

Transfer Targets

Dejan Lovren - Premier League
Appearances: 31
Goals: 2
Chances created: 4
Passing accuracy: 82%
Average pass length: 22m
Duels won: 58%
Average defensive actions: 11
Defensive errors: 1
Yellow cards: 7
Red cards: 0

Steven Caulker - Premier League
Appearances: 38
Goals: 5
Chances created: 9
Passing accuracy: 74%
Average pass length: 21m
Duels won: 58%
Average defensive actions: 12
Defensive errors: 0
Yellow cards: 1
Red cards: 0

Héctor Moreno - La Liga
Appearances: 32
Goals: 1
Chances created: 7
Passing accuracy: 78%
Average pass length: 23m
Duels won: 47%
Average defensive actions: 8
Defensive errors: 1
Yellow cards: 8
Red cards: 0

Stefan Savić - Serie A
Appearances: 31
Goals: 0
Chances created: 3
Passing accuracy: 89%
Average pass length: 20m
Duels won: 58%
Average defensive actions: 10
Defensive errors: 1
Yellow cards: 5
Red cards: 0

Swiss international Fabian Schär may be added to the list, at the moment hs is merely of potential interest with Mauricio Pochettino still to assess the 22 year-old Basel player before making a decision.



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