Why Spurs over Arsenal would be ideal for Alex Grimaldo
According to claims from Portuguese outlet A Bola, as relayed by The Sun, North London giants Tottenham and Arsenal are set to go head-to-head in a transfer tug-of-war over the Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo.
However, the same report adds that the Premier League giants would need to fend off interest from Italian outfit Napoli in their pursuit of the 24-year-old, who has been turning in a number of top-notch displays for Benfica.
Grimaldo was once a target for Man City but the former Spanish youth international could still be on his way to the Premier League in the near future, with Arsenal and Spurs keeping close tabs. (h/t Sun)
A youth exponent of Barcelona, Alex Grimaldo clocked up as many as 92 appearances for the club’s ‘B’ team but he failed to make the grade at the senior level due to stiff competition for places.
However, he has progressed by leaps and bounds ever since his move to Benfica back in December 2015 and has accumulated an impressive tally of 11 goals and 26 assists in 131 appearances for the Portuguese heavyweights in all competitions till date.
Arsenal recently signed Kieran Tierney from Celtic following the departure of Nacho Monreal this summer while Sead Kolasinac continues to be a handy back-up.
Spurs, on the other hand, have two established left-backs in Ben Davies and Danny Rose, albeit the latter was heavily linked with a departure during the summer. (h/t Sun)
Given that the left-back position is well covered at Arsenal, it doesn’t make sense for them to splash the cash on Grimaldo.
Tottenham, though, could yet do with some investment in that area, with Danny Rose already 29 and nearing the last 18 months of his current contract.
Rose hasn’t been anywhere near his best over the past twelve months or so and Spurs’ mediocre start to the season clearly epitomises the need to bolster the squad with some much-needed fresh blood.
The England international has maintained his place ahead of Ben Davies in the pecking order this term but statistics clearly prove that Grimaldo could come through the door as an instant upgrade on the ageing left-back, who is very much at a stage in his career where his powers are going to start declining very soon.
As per whoscored, Grimaldo has accumulated 4 assists in 9 Liga NOS appearances for Benfica while Rose is yet to chip in with any significant goal contribution from the same number of appearances in the Premier League.
Rose’s average of 1.8 tackles per game has been bettered by Grimaldo, who averages 3.3 tackles per game, whilst the Spaniard also boasts of 1.7 key passes, 1.7 crosses and 3.9 successful long balls per game, numbers which are a lot better than the 29-year-old’s 1.2 key passes, 0.9 crosses and 1.3 long balls.
Agreed, those statistics have a lot to do with the stylistic difference between Spurs and Benfica while the Premier League is way ahead of the Portuguese top-flight in terms of intensity and competition.
However, those who have watched Grimaldo play in the Champions League this season would clearly understand why he could possibly be an upgrade on Danny Rose at Spurs.
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Furthermore, he is just 24 and has plenty of time to adapt his game to suit the demands of playing in the Premier League, as opposed to Rose, who seems clearly past his prime.
All in all, Spurs need fresh faces to turn things around after a disappointing start and signing Alex Grimaldo could well be a step in the right direction in that regard.