Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho is plotting a summer swoop for Southampton centre-back Jannik Vestergaard.
Jannik Vestergaard, 28, has been a solid performer for Southampton for much of this season, turning in strong displays from the heart of the defence. The big Dane was dearly missed by Ralph Hasenhuttl during the busy winter period, and the defender’s absence due to injury coincided with the Saints’ alarming drop from the top six of the Premier League table.
The 28-year-old, who signed for Southampton from Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer of 2018, is entering the final year of his contract next season. Tottenham Hotspur believe they could bag another bargain signing from the Saints with such less time left to run on his contract.
Spurs signed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in a cut-price deal from Southampton last summer, and the Danish midfielder has become a fan favourite at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium this season. With his tenacity, energy, leadership skills and robustness, Hojbjerg has proven to be a snip at £15million for the north London side.
Tottenham’s defensive problems continue
Tottenham have been poor defensively this season, with Jose Mourinho-managed side’s fragile backline getting brutally exposed many times. They may have conceded 30 goals in 28 league games, but it is more than the likes of Aston Villa and Arsenal. Truth be told, over the past several matches in the Premier League, the Spurs have been very sloppy at the back, conceding eight goals in six games.
Tottenham were also beaten 2-1 by Arsenal in the last weekend’s north London derby, which further highlighted how porous Mourinho’s defence is at the moment. Arsenal dominated large parts of the game and deserved to win the derby that saw Tottenham lose further ground in the race for a top-four finish. The other bad thing is that they have been eliminated from Europa League after Dinamo Zagreb beat them 3-0.
Jose Mourinho right in prioritising a centre-back in the summer
Indeed, Spurs have looked just as disjointed at the back for much of the 2020/21 campaign, which is contrasting for a pragmatic Mourinho side.
Mourinho started the season with Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld in central defence, but the former has lost his place in the starting XI after desperately being short of form. Davinson Sanchez has been preferred of late, but it will be naïve to pass a verdict to the Colombian’s pairing with Alderweireld after they started Tottenham’s last four league games.
Summer signing Joe Rodon hasn’t played much to stake a claim in Mourinho’s starting XI, while the young Japhet Tanganga has endured an injury-hit campaign. With experienced defenders failing to put in consistent displays and Spurs leaking goals as a result, Mourinho wants to bring in a new central defender before the 2021/22 campaign commences.
Is Jannik Vestergaard the right fit at Spurs?
Jannik Vestergaard has been an important figure at the back for Southampton and his performances this season have caught Mourinho’s attention. Standing at 6ft 6ins tall, he is a strong, commanding and powerful defender, and is a real handful in the opposition box, having scored three Premier League goals this campaign. The Denmark international may lack pace, but he makes it up with his reading of the game and ball-playing ability.
The former Borussia Monchengladbach star is a vocal leader and a very good organiser of the backline, someone Mourinho has sorely missed at Tottenham. An experienced international and Premier League proved too, Vestergaard would certainly add quality to Tottenham’s backline.
Thus, Spurs must raid Southampton again and sign Vestergaard in a potential cut-price deal in the summer.