Why Tottenham Hotspur should sign Keita Balde as back-up to Harry Kane
According to Calciomercato, Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino had expressed his interest in signing Inter Milan forward Keita Balde. The report adds that Pochettino has been watching the attacker since he was a youngster in Barcelona’s academy.
Keita Balde rose to prominence in the 2016/17 campaign with Lazio where he registered 16 goals and 3 assists from 31 appearances in the Serie A.
That earned him a move to Monaco on a five-year contract back in 2017. The Senegalese blew hot and cold in his debut season at Monaco but he still managed eight goals and five assists.
The 23-year-old moved to Inter Milan before the start of the 2018/19 campaign on a season-long loan with an option to buy next summer. However, things haven’t quite gone according to the scripts for Keita and he has struggled to get regular game time, managing just three starts in the Serie A.
Inter manager Luciano Spalletti has used the Senegal international as an understudy to Mauro Icardi but a forward of Keita’s calibre should get regular game time.
A quick, fast and explosive forward, Keita’s top qualities are his blistering pace, dribbling skills and finishing. Give him a chance in front of the goal and he’ll score; that’s how lethal he is when it comes to finishing off moves.
Keita has been deployed in various positions and he has really impressed with his explosive pace and the directness with which he goes about his business. He would bring freshness to Spurs’ attack and give them a different flair to their play in the final third.
The Senegalese is not only good as a target-man but also works hard to snatch away possession and link up with fellow attackers – an attribute most suited to Pochettino’s system.
The Spanish-born player is an all-round forward with the ability to play up front too. He could rotate with Lucas Moura, Son Heung-min, Dele Alli and Erik Lamela, while also providing cover for Harry Kane up front.
Kane has become an indispensable figure for Tottenham under Pochettino and if he gets injured, the north Londoners might find themselves in huge trouble.
Clearly, neither Fernando Llorente nor Vincent Janssen has shown enough quality to be a proper back-up for Kane.
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Hence, Keita would be a fantastic addition to the Tottenham squad. The acquisition of a player like Keita Balde would always be welcome for Spurs as that would mean more competition for places in the starting eleven and probably a strong enough squad to challenge for Europe.