Spurs Opinion: Lilywhites should look to pip Man United and Wolves to the signature of Benoit Badiashile
According to Birmingham Live, Spurs are amongst the Premier League clubs to have registered an interest in Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile, with reports claiming that manager Mauricio Pochettino is keen to make a few more additions to his ranks.
Spurs have already made the headlines this summer with the club-record acquisition of Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, as the Lilywhites beat a number of top clubs in Europe to the Frenchman’s signature.
The North Londoners have also completed a deal for Leeds United prodigy Jack Clarke, although the 18-year-old has been loaned back to Elland Road immediately to allow to further his development.
And it seems now that Spurs are willing to continue their spending spree this summer after drawing a complete blank in the last couple of transfer windows, with another burgeoning French talent Benoit Badiashile on their radar.
However, if the Lilywhites are genuinely interested in the 18-year-old Monaco starlet, they would need to fend off interest from Premier League rivals Wolves and Man United, the Birmingham Live understands.
The same report claims that all the three aforementioned clubs have been credited with an interest but Wolves are showing more urgency to wrap up a deal, with super-agent Jorge Mendes involved in the transfer.
Badiashile only signed his first professional contract with Monaco in February 2018 before making his first-team debut in a 4-0 league defeat to PSG in November.
However, he has apparently done enough to attract the attention of the Premier League clubs and the 18-year-old might as well earn a coveted move to the Premier League after only a single season at the senior level in Ligue 1, although Monaco have slapped a €40 million price tag on their prized asset.
Monaco finished in the bottom half in the French top-flight last season and barely managed to beat the drop but Badiashile was one of the few shining lights of the club’s otherwise disastrous campaign.
The 18-year-old made a total of 26 appearances at the heart of the defence in all competitions this past season, including 20 starts in Ligue 1, and caught the eye with his powerful 6ft. 4-inch frame, impressive range of passing, quick anticipation and ability to read the game to perfection.
Badiashile averaged 54.5 passes per game with an accuracy percentage of 89.4, including 1.3 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 1.8 aerial duels and 3.9 clearances, figures which speak volumes of his well-rounded attributes as a modern-day ball-playing central defender.
A regular for France at all youth levels from U-16 to U-19, Badiashile has accumulated a total of 18 caps for his nation, although he still remains eligible to represent Congo at the senior international level due to his African heritage.
To put things into perspective, Spurs have certainly bagged a massive coup with the acquisition of Tanguy Ndombele but they should not hesitate to go ahead with their interest in Benoit Badiashile, given that the 18-year-old showed strong signs of excellence over the course of his breakthrough season the last term.
Investing in promising youngsters and transforming them into world-beaters has always been the recipe of Pochettino’s unheralded success at Spurs and the 18-year-old could be the next big name at the club in the years to come.
The arrival of Ndombele is likely to go a long way towards sorting out Spurs’ midfield conundrum but they also need to add more depth and quality to their backline.
It is true that the Lilywhites have spent big to bring in the likes of Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth from Ajax and Estudiantes in recent times but the impending departure of Toby Alderweireld should prompt the hierarchy to invest even further.
Also, Jan Vertonghen isn’t getting any younger at 32 and bringing in another promising centre-back like Badiashile could prove to be crucial to the club’s long-term plans moving forward.
Despite spending close to nothing last season, Spurs managed to make it to the finals of the Champions League, while also securing a top-four finish in the Premier League. However, one can get the feeling that they would eventually need to spend big if they are to compete with the likes of Man City and Liverpool for silverware.
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Keeping that in mind, the Lilywhites have laid down a solid platform and it is now time for them to kick on a turn their promise into something more meaningful.
Having said that, they should go all out in their pursuit of Benoit Badiashile this summer, as the 18-year-old could go on to establish himself as a stalwart in the years to come.