Let's get nasty in midfield.
This post is part of a deadline morning series on potential Tottenham transfers.You can find all of the posts in the series right here, as well as the initial post explaining this series right here.
Mauricio Pochettino likes his midfielders to be intelligent, athletic pressers. Being a great tackler and a great passer are certainly very good things that he values, but he seems to care more about knowing when and how to press, as well as being able to do it for 90 minutes. This is why Etienne Capoue and Nabil Bentaleb are first choice, and why some other players that Tottenham Hotspur fans like a lot are behind them.
Poche wants other players like his starters, so enter Benjamin Stambouli, a defensive midfielder from Montpellier. He's been a first team player there since 2010 and has been first choice for the last couple of years. He's a bit of a pitbull and he's notable for his fitness, so he's very much a Poche kind of player.
A fee has already been reportedly agreed with Montpellier, so this is almost certainly happening. A bigger question than whether or not he's coming in is who he'll be replacing.
Quick bio: He's the last actual valuable asset Montpellier haven't cashed in yet. Because of that, he'd probably like to leave. He's an energetic, tenacious defensive midfielder who has been described as a not quite as mountainous, but slightly meaner version of Etienne Capoue.
Likelihood he's transferred today: Very high. Apparently the fee's already been agreed and he just needs to sign some papers and such.
Potential suitors: I guess every other team in need of a defensive midfielder could come try to gazump us, for reasons that will become very obvious in one line. Fiorentina and Swansea were previously interested.
Price if he's sold: £5m, apparently. I'm not sure why Fiorentina and Swansea didn't immediately bid £6m.
Are Spurs the front-runners?: Yes, he's supposed to have had his medical already, actually.
The verdict: If Lewis Holtby is going for about this amount of money and Sandro is going for more, this is probably a pretty nice piece of business. If Capoue and Bentaleb are very clearly first choice, why not get a bit cheaper behind them? Provided this guy is actually good, of course.
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