Tottenham Hotspur could consider a solution to their long-term right-back problem if emerging reports are to be believed.
What is the word?
According to Football Insider, Spurs have shown interest in signing Norwich City starlet Max Aarons ahead of the summer transfer window.
It is claimed that, despite failing in the past, the north London side have reignited their pursuit of the 21-year-old as one of their top priorities heading into next season.
The Canaries are reportedly ready to let their top-choice defender leave for around £ 30million after giving the league winners another season of service after relegation.
Would Aarons be an upgrade to the right-back?
YES – 100%!
Finally a solution?
One of Spurs’ recurring issues this season has been defensive mistakes, as The Athletic noted, and the right side of the back line has been particularly troublesome.
Matt Doherty was signed this summer with the intention of replacing Serge Aurier, but in reality none have been able to consolidate a regular place in the starting XI, with the hope of Japhet Tanganga academy and even Moussa Sissoko sometimes playing there.
The ex-Wolves man, signed for £ 15million, has only started 12 league games, while recently the Ivorian international has been dubbed ‘one of the Premier League’s biggest commitments’ and has been described as a player who “would discourage you from leaving management”. By Jamie Carragher of Sky Sports.
It’s rather telling that he’s the one to start in the role the most, playing 18 times in the top flight this quarter.
Since Kyle Walker, Spurs haven’t had a solid, long-term option. He left for Manchester City almost four years ago which saw Daniel Levy earn £ 45million plus add-ons.
His replacement Kieran Trippier, who was already at the club, stepped up his efforts but in two seasons he had swapped north London for Madrid in a deal worth around £ 20million.
Since then, it’s clear that Aurier and now Doherty, who might well have been sold this summer if Jose Mourinho had stayed (according to ESPN), have failed to rise to the occasion, so enter Aarons.
After an impressive debut campaign in the Premier League, it was a surprise to see the England U21 international stay at Carrow Road and fail to follow his ex-teammate Ben Godfrey into the top flight following relegation from Norwich.
But it may have worked well in his favor as he took his game to a new level.
No player has played more minutes for the Canaries this season than Aarons (3,959) and last year his WhoScored average rating rose from 6.55 to 6.92.
He added more goal contributions (two goals, one assist) and is proving to be a valuable part of Daniel Farke’s offense, averaging 1.4 key assists (up from 0.6 last season) and 1.3 dribbles per game.
In December, Farke spoke lyrical about his young man of confidence, telling reporters: “In my eyes, he’s not young Max Aarons, he’s just a special player and he has an incredible future. I know he has been labeled as one of the best young players in this league. Well I told him we can dismiss that label now because he’s not one of the best young players anymore, he’s one of the best players.
While his former England Under-21 coach Aidy Boothroyd claimed he “gives 100% to training and games” and gives “real energy” to the team.
Based on all of the evidence above, and given that he’s only 21, Levy could guarantee Spurs their long-term fix in the right-back position with a blow to the Championship dynamo of £ 18million.
AND in other news, Levy could pile more misery on Spurs by hiring 47-year-olds with a 30% PL win rate …