The Wonderkid Files: Alejo Véliz - the £12m bargain transfer Spurs could land this summer

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A detailed scouting report for Spurs’ latest target - 19-year-old Argentinian striker Alejo Véliz.

Harry Kane may well be on the way out of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but if Spurs have their way then they’ll be replacing him – at least in part – with one of the most exciting young strikers in South America. 19-year-old Rosario Central forward Alejo Véliz is the target, £12m is the rumoured price, and The Wonderkid Files have the scouting report.

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Born in September 2003, Véliz only really broke into Rosario’s first team in earnest at the start of last season, but quickly began to impress with his predatory striking instincts, aerial prowess and fine first touch – and it was in July of 2022, when he scored the only goal against Newell’s Old Boys in the local derby match, that he really announced his arrival.

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Since then, the young striker has gone from strength to strength, netting 11 times in 23 games so far in the Argentinian Primera División – nearly a third of his team’s goals – and bagging in all three group stage games during the recent Under-20 World Cup as well, before his side were knocked out in the round of 16 by Nigeria.

It was during that World Cup that he demonstrated the single biggest arrow he has in his quiver – he’s quite superb in the air. Standing about 190cm tall and with a big leap in his calves, all three of his goals against Uzbekistan, Guatemala and New Zealand were headers from crosses. He’s not only got the capacity to get plenty of power on his headers, the placement is supreme as well – and he has the knack of taking a quick step to separate himself from his marker to make room for himself. He doesn’t lose many duels, and doesn’t miss the mark very often.

But while his heading ability is where he shines brightest, it shouldn’t be suggested that there isn’t more to him. He’s good technique, quick feet, solid close control and loves playing quick give-and-gos around the edge of the area. He might not be a complete striker, and he certainly isn’t a true playmaker in the mould of Kane, but he can bring team-mates into attacks as well as scoring for himself.

He does tend to stick as close to the penalty area as possible and isn’t the kind of player who can come deep to carry the ball forward, nor does he have a reputation for long-range shooting. Véliz is a talented young man who could easily become a 20-goal striker in a top league with the right supporting cast and coaching, but he isn’t looking likely to become the master of all trades that Kane has been for Spurs. The England captain is, after all, a once-in-a-lifetime player.

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The bigger issue for Spurs may simply be competition from elsewhere. AC Milan are definitely interested and Nottingham Forest were reported to have made a bid too – but the latest newspaper reports do suggest that Ange Postecoglou’s side are in pretty advanced negotiations with the player, and could be set to beat other suitors to his signing.

Véliz would, naturally, not be ready to replace Kane right away. He has the natural skillset but doesn’t have the top-level experience to be expected to step up into the Spurs first team straight away – but with a gaping void likely to be present in the heart of the Tottenham front line very soon, he may well be the kind of player who could push for a chance to impress very quickly. Every time he’s made a step up so far, in both domestic and international football, he’s put his foot a little more firmly on the accelerator and started scoring more frequently than he did before. This is a player who is developing still, but doing so quickly and confidently.

If he does indeed end up at Spurs, don’t be shocked if he’s established himself as a fan favourite in the not too-distant future – and don’t be surprised if the Premier League’s centre-backs are truly sick of the sight of him.

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