Forget Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg - this is the £45m midfield maestro Tottenham must sign
Spurs could be in need of midfield reinforcements in January, and have been linked with an intriguing acquisition.
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Have you heard the news?! ITV are rebooting Deal Or No Deal with Stephen Mulhern as host instead of Noel Edmonds. Untether thy nostalgia! Light the beacons! Inform the townsfolk! Of course, I could sit and write a thesis on how it will in no way, shape, or form be as good as the original - and perhaps one day I might - but the reason I bring it up is because upon seeing the advert the other day, the first person I thought about was, genuinely, Ange Postecoglou.
You see, for the first few weeks of the season, the Australian had been on a charmed run, like a contestant knocking out blue box after blue box after blue box. As such, the figurative value of his Tottenham Hotspur side and their title prospects has risen exponentially. So far, so analogous.
But then, Chelsea happened. In one fell swoop, like a call centre worker from Bury St. Edmunds stumbling across the £250,000, £100,000, and £75,000 in successive receptacles, Ange has been sent into a tailspin. As Spurs crashed to their first defeat of the Premier League campaign, Postecoglou also lost Micky van de Ven and James Maddison to injury, as well as Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie to suspension. A stoppage time unravelling against Wolves just days later was delivered with all the cruelty of a Banker's cackle.
Laboured introductory gambits aside, Tottenham's week horribilis was a timely reminder of just how much tuning up Postecoglou must still enact upon his precocious squad. Depth is sorely lacking, and that is exactly the kind of tender Ange-chilles Heel that can derail silverware ambitions. Then, of course, there is the prospect of players leaving in January too. At the present moment in time, for instance, it seems almost certain that Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will be on his way out of the club this winter, and if the Dane does scarper for pastures new, then a replacement will have to be sourced.
Enter, stage left, Conor Gallagher. It is no secret that Spurs are admirers of the Chelsea midfielder, with his general demeanour like the Prince Charming in a provincial theatre company's seasonal pantomime troupe. For a long while, the 23-year-old has been on the radar of transfer chiefs in North London, and while a failed summer bid has been followed by a period of renewed relevance for the midfielder at Stamford Bridge, there are still reasons to believe that he could be a fairly attainable target.
According to TEAMtalk, while Gallagher is eager to pen a fresh contract with Chelsea, he is still yet to receive an offer of one. Factor in the imminent returns of summer signings Christopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia, and it is not out of the realms of possibility that the England international may shortly find himself down the pecking order on an ever-shortening deal. With the right kind of bid, say £45 million or so, perhaps the Blues could be tempted to take the money and run.
And maybe it is blithely optimistic to think that Chelsea would sell a regular starter to such a fierce rival given their own ongoing predicaments, but if Spurs could prise him away then what a coup it would represent. In many respects, Gallagher is the ideal Postecoglou midfielder - energetic, creative, and adaptable. Then again, when you put it like that, he sounds like anybody's ideal midfielder. The point is that given the swarming, free-flowing tactical approach that Ange prefers, Gallagher would be a perfect acquisition; he's like if the Duracell bunny had a sideline in shampoo commercial acting.
The Chelsea star is an all-action presence for an all-action age. So far this season, nobody at Stamford Bridge has recorded more assists, or averaged more key passes or interceptions per 90 minutes, than Gallagher, and he's in the top three for dribbles completed and successful tackles too while also registering a passing accuracy in excess of 90%. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that he currently boasts the highest Whoscored rating of any player in Mauricio Pochettino's squad.
To that end, it would incredibly foolish of Chelsea to sell him. That being said, never bet against Todd Boehly, and if Spurs could somehow profit from a moment of perma-tanned madness, they could end up striking one hell of a deal. Y'know, like Deal or No Deal. From the intro. Forget it.