VIDEO: Musacchio season as Spurs transfer draws near

Mateo Musacchio is joining an English club confirms Villarreal coach Marcelino and Villarreal officials have been meeting Tottenham, I think we can safely say Spurs are trying to buy him.

Mateo Musacchio Spurs centre-back

A fee has been agreed for the Argentinian according to the Mirror who state it's £17 million (€21.31m). Villarreal only get 35% of that as the players agent owns 30% his economic rights and former club River Plate the other 35%.

While that is permissible in other leagues it is not in the Premier League so in future any transfer fee would go to Tottenham unless any small percentage was written into his contract, which is highly unlikely. Because they are only getting 35% Villarreal want a bigger transfer fee so I doubt the Mirror story is correct myself.

Players coming into Villarreal so far are midfielder Javier Espinosa from Barcelona; Serbian defender Antonio Rukavina from Valladolid; Paraguayan midfielder Hernan Perez (permanent signing) from Olympiakos; Mexican midfielder Jonathan dos Santos from Barcelona for a fee of £1.59 million (€2m); Goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo from Atletico Madrid for a fee of £5.95 million (€5m); Russian midfielder Denis Cheryshev on loan from Real Madrid.

Total spend:  £5.58 million (€7m) so the sale of Musacchio which they will receive £3.99 million (€7.46m) from will balance the books for the cash strapped Spaniards, however they would then need to by a replacement so want a bigger fee so they can.

There have been reports that Musacchio was atken out of training to prevent injury and worked in the gym but they are wrong, the original story was mistranslated and has simply been copied around the web, he trained as normal but was pulled out of the Middlesborough friendly.

Marcelino has explained the situation to reporters in Spain and points out it takes longer for a side to adapt to a defender than other players.

"It's a situation with three parties: the player, the buyer and the club in the middle and, as I have said many times, if the club sell an important player it's because the right conditions to do so have been met. 
"Things will change quite a lot [for this team]. The quality and level of [Musacchio] will make it difficult to find a replacement. 
"It's always more complicated to adapt the team to a new defender than to a forward or midfielder [and] it's not easy, at this level, to find a new defender. It won't be easy [to replace him] but the solution, for better or worse, will be found soon. 
"Mateo is a very important player for Villarreal. He's an excellent player and will be a difficult loss to cover, especially as he plays in a tough position to reinforce."

So who is Mateo Musacchio and what does this mean for our defence? Well he is a highly rated Argentinian central defender who didn't make the World Cup squad. He is a 23-year-old who will be 24 on August 26th, only the second first team squad member to have a birthday in August after Nacer Chadli.

Musacchio is a right sided centre-back so would line up alongside Jan Vertonghen, with one of the two back-ups being new 21-year-old signing Eric Dier. That leaves one spot to be fought over by Vlad Chiriches, who hasn't figured in pre-season games at all, Younès Kaboul who Lazio will make a move for and Michael Dawson who has been figuring largely in pre-season but is wanted by 3 Premier League clubs.

He would take our non-home grown quota to 19, we can only use 17 so sales or loans must occur. Signing two centre-backs presumably means two departing, plus Benoît Assou-Ekotto who has a year left on his contract and Bongami Khumalo on loan again.

1   Younès Kaboul (2nd vice-captain)
2   Jan Vertonghen
3   Vlad Chiricheș
4   Paulinho
5   Roberto Soldado
6   Emmanuel Adebayor
7   Érik Lamela
8   Lewis Holtby
9   Étienne Capoue
10 Mousa Dembélé
11 Nacer Chadli
12 Christian Eriksen
13 Brad Friedel
14 Hugo Lloris
15 Sandro
16 Benoît Assou-Ekotto
17 Michel Vorm
18 Bongani Khumalo

Musacchio stands 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in) who was successful with 46% of his aerial duels and 50% of his overall duels. His was linked with Barcelona which tells us that he is a ball playing centre-back suited the the ball being on the floor. He was also linked to Chelsea and Manchester City suggesting his is high quality.

He would need alongside him someone good in the air and Barcelona target Jan Vertonghen won 73% of his aerial duels last season so fills that berth quite adequately.

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Whoscored list his stats as (Dawson for comparison in brackets):
Games 32 (32)
Tackles 76 (47)
Interceptions 108 (67)
Blocked shots 17 (23)
Successful passes 75.9% (81.6%)
Long ball accuracy 89/175 - 50.9% (198/321 - 61.7%)

Who Scored list his strengths as tackling and ball interception with his weakness listed as being aerial duels. They say his style of play is that he likes to dribble, play short passes and tackle.

Not the ideal medium for assessing a player but finally a video of him in action. The impression it gives me is that he reads the game well, has a bit of recovery pace about him, is good at interceptions, tackles and loves bringing the ball out from the back.

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