Tottenham Hotspur are currently speaking with Nuno Espirito Santo as they look to bring their frenzied managerial search to an end.
Fabio Paratici, the club’s managing director of football, is an admirer of Nuno, who left Wolverhampton Wanderers by “mutual agreement” at the end of last season after four years. The Portuguese tactician, 47, was close to replacing Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace before talks collapsed and he has since become the latest recommendation by Fabio Paratici.
Tottenham want to reinforce their backline after appointing a new manager and Sevilla defender Jules Kounde is among the club’s summer transfer targets.
Jules Kounde, 22, has grown into one of the fine young centre-backs in Europe since arriving at Sevilla from Bordeaux in 2019. The French centre-back played a vital role in Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla side winning the UEFA Europa League in his debut campaign and followed it up with another solid campaign in 2020/21.
He racked up two goals and an assist in 34 LaLiga games, helping Lopetegui’s side seal a top-four finish in LaLiga. Kounde, part of France’s Euro 2020 squad, is protected with an €80m release clause in his contract but he’s expected to be sold for less than that amount.
Tottenham were all over the place defensively the last term
Tottenham had a season to forget as they failed to qualify for the Champions League and tasted defeat in the Carabao Cup final to Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho was sacked midway through the campaign and replaced by Ryan Mason in interim charge until the end of the season. Under the 29-year-old Ryan Mason, the North Londoners scraped into Premier League top seven, thereby qualifying for the inaugural UEFA Europa League conference.
Spurs weren’t great defensively this past campaign, conceding 45 goals in 38 games. Former boss Jose Mourinho handed out the centre-back responsibilities to the side’s experienced heads Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier.
However, Alderweireld looks past his best and Dier made many errors at the back. Joe Rodon needs more time to adapt to the demands of Premier League football after starting only eight league games for Spurs since moving from Championship side Swansea City in October 2020.
Davinson Sanchez has shown that he has the ability to turn in colossal performances but there seems to be no semblance of consistency in his form and Spurs just can’t afford to continue relying on such mediocrity if they are to improve next potentially under Nuno Espirito Santo.
Also, having sold Juan Foyth to Villarreal earlier this month, Tottenham are not left with too many options in central defence.
Jules Kounde could be a terrific addition to the Spurs backline
Meanwhile, Jules Kounde has enjoyed a stellar two years at Sevilla, catching the eyes of several top European clubs. His excellent displays at the back last season made the Los Rojiblancos one of the strongest defensive sides in LaLiga, conceding a mere 33 goals.
The French international’s ability and temperament has been there for everybody to see. Despite being rated as one of the best young centre-backs, Kounde is not yet the finished article and his vast potential means that he is only expected to get better with time and experience.
Truth to be told, Spurs are likely to face a lot of competition for signing Kounde this summer. If the North Londoners can convince the Frenchman to join the club, it could be an excellent long-term investment.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.