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Tottenham Hotspur were unlucky last season as they failed to compete with Chelsea for the title for too long. Mauricio Pochettino will know that it is high time for the club to start showing some progress and this has seen him scout some top class players this summer.
Tottenham are one of the most consistent defences in the league so Pochettino is more worried about adding mettle to his midfield and attack, and two players he is constantly looking at are Everton star Ross Barkley and Real Madrid star Mateo Kovacic.
The 23-year old English international Barkley has been in decent form for Everton recently but he is yet to extend his contract with the Merseyside outfit, who have headed for their pre-season without Barkley in their lineup. Spurs are reportedly desperate for his signature but Everton are holding out for £50m, which Tottenham are not ready to pay.
Mateo Kovacic, on the other hand, has not been able to establish himself in the first team under Zinedine Zidane and with Real spending on Dani Cabellos this summer, Kovacic is expected to further fall down the pecking order, which might see him leave. Spurs have reportedly had a €25m bid rejected for his services, but it is understood that Pochettino is still interested in the player. So who is a better choice for Tottenham?
The Croatian midfielder is one of the best young players in his position in Europe at the moment, hence his place in the squad at the Bernabeu. He is a defensive midfielder, who loves to sit back and dictate the game from a deep midfield role, which suits him well. He is strong, athletic and quick across the turf, while his technical abilities, his vision and intelligence in reading the game, all make him an all-round player.
Barkley, on the other hand, is a versatile attacking midfielder, who can deputise in a deeper role if needed. He has experience in the English league and is on the fringes of the national team. He is sure to improve Spurs’ creativity in front of goal.
Pochettino used Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele to good use in the midfield last season but Eric Dier is the only backup for the duo in the first team. Kovacic can not only walk into the first XI here but will also improve their solidity at the back.
Barkley will surely add some productivity, but at £50m, Spurs can surely find a better option for their attack, making Kovacic a more important signing for them this summer.