Why Tottenham should go all out for Real Betis’ Aissa Mandi in January
Back in February, a report from the Football Espana had claimed that Tottenham were interested in signing Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi.
Aissa Mandi, 27, joined Real Betis from French club Reims in 2016 and has been a regular fixture for the club since then. He made 35 appearances in the La Liga last season, guiding Betis to a 10-placed finish.
The 27-year-old is yet to make an appearance for Los Verdiblancos this season due to him being a part of the triumphant African Cup of Nations campaign with Algeria this summer.
Seeing the Algerian’s rise in stock over the summer, Tottenham should definitely reignite their interest and go for the defender in January.
Tottenham had a great summer with regards to transfers this time around. Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, Ryan Sessegnon and Jack Clarke joined Spurs, although the latter returned to Leeds United on a season-long loan.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team, however, have not enjoyed an ideal beginning to the new Premier League campaign as they have picked up just four points in three games. Tottenham have looked defensively very shaky, with Davinson Sanchez yet to be at the best of his game so far.
Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have been loyal servants to the club but both are in their 30s and their current contracts expire next summer. Surprisingly, Vertonghen has been dropped from Tottenham’s starting line-up in the opening weeks of the campaign. Unlike Alderweireld, he is yet to make an appearance for Mauricio Pochettino’s side this season.
As thing stand, Spurs are under huge pressure to pick up a victory against Arsenal at the weekend. No matter what happens, Pochettino must address his defensive problems by signing Aissa Mandi.
Mandi is primarily a right-sided central defender and has played in that position in part of a Betis three-man defence for the majority of the last campaign. He is also adept playing at right-back, something which should interest Pochettino as Tottenham have very few options in that position.
Comfortable on the ball and good in the air, the Algerian international is a strong presence at both ends of the pitch and can make crucial interceptions for his side in his own half.
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The former Reims man has the required qualities to thrive in the Premier League. Mandi is at the prime stages of his career and a move to Spurs would be a step in the right direction.
Tottenham made some big moves in the summer but their decision not to strengthen the defence could come back to haunt them during a taxing season. Hence, it would be wise if Pochettino goes for Mandi when the transfer window reopens in January.