Sunday, 25 January 2015

Memphis Depay

Tottenham Hotspur are on the look out for a wide man to replace Aaron Lennon, who is a surplus to requirements home grown qualified player.

Memphis Depay

Paul Mitchell has been brought in as the head of recruitment and is tasked with finding a replacement who is not over priced or big money. We have looked at two players Spurs have been scouting this season, on loan Argentinean Fede Cartabia. The 22-year-old is playing for Cordoba in La Liga, on loan from Valencia.

The second is the once capped Dutchman Jean-Paul Boëtius, who is a talented 20-year-old playing for Feyenoord in the Eredivisie. Also in the Eredivisie is another player who was talked about a lot in the summer, but because of the length of his contract the prices quoted in the summer press were silly. He is 20-year-old PSV wide man Memphis Depay.

Reports that we are trying to sign him this month are press talk with no squad place available for non-home grown players at this time. We have 18 on the books and can only name 17 in a Premier League squad, Benoit Assou-Ekotto being the one not playing. Selling Lennon does not free up a place for him as Lennon is home grown. Selling Paulinho would mean we need another midfielder and we are still waiting to see if PSG persuade Rabiot to stay.

Memphis Depay Fact File
Name: Memphis Depay
Date of birth: February 13th 1994
Place of birth: Moordrecht, Netherlands
Age: 20
Height: 1.76 m (5 ft 10 in)
Position: Left wing
Foot: Right
In the team since: January 1at 2012
Contract until: June 30th 2018
On loan from: N/A
Players' agents: SEG
Transfermarkt Value: £10.56m ($15.83m - €14.12m - AU$20m)

Depay was being quoted in the summer at £18 million ($26.98m - €24.08m - AU$34.10m) but despite firing in goals in the Eredivisie the press are now suggesting figures of £15 million ($22.48m - €20.06m - AU$28.41m), rather shows the summer figures were wide of his true value. We tried to sign him then but certainly not for £18 million, that's over twice what Hugo Lloris cost and he is one of the best in the world in his position.

PSV head coach Phillip Cocu recently told Helden magazine that Depay will leave before his contract runs out, there will be speculation again this summer when a move is far more likely than this window.

"Of course Memphis will be sold, you can't stop that but it's okay. It's great you can build up a player like him, who breaks through, succeeds at PSV then leaves the club when he's ready for a bigger step. That's great."

Memphis Depay Playing Fact File
League Stats: Eredivisie
Appearances: 15 (0)
Minutes: 1,228 (Equivalent to 13.64 games)
Goals: 11 (every 112 mins)
Assists: 4 (every 307 mins)
Goals/Assists: 15 (every 81.87 minutes)
Yellow: 2
Red: 0
Pass Success: 73.7%

His strong suits are dribbling and long range shooting, together with through balls as you would expect of an attacking wide man. He likes to cut inside and has the balance to ride challenges so his style, allowing the full-back to overlap, suits the Pochettino system. If he has a weakness it is keeping hold of the ball and he has become more consistent with experience. He has pace and looks to make runs in behind the defenders which encourages defence cutting through balls.

Depay has gone from an inconsistent frustrating young player with a lot of potential to an exciting prospect with a lot of ability this season so a summer bid is a distinct possibility.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Spurs scouting 20yo future star

Tottenham have a list of attacking wide men they are tracking, Jay Rodriguez and Yevhan Konoplyanka are the high profile names but there are others that are perhaps under the radar of fans but known to clubs. Often with these players it is a case of weighing up the odds. Signing any player is a gamble but it's the job of head of recruitment, Paul Mitchell, to do the homework that minimises that gamble.

Spurs scouting 20yo future star

We have to cut our cloth according to our means and finding bargains, players who will fit Mauricio Pochettino's system and improve as players, is a fundamental part of that. We have therefore been casting our eye over young players from around the leagues.

Previously we have looked at 22-year-old Cordoba winger Fede Cartabia, the Argentinean on loan from fellow La Liga side Valencia, as Aaron Lennon's replacement. Another on our list is 20-year-old Feyenoord winger Jean-Paul Boëtius.

Jean-Paul Boëtius Player Fact File
Name: Jean-Paul Boëtius
Date of birth: March 22nd 1994
Place of birth: Rotterdam
Age: 20
Height:  1.78m ( ft  in)
Nationality: Holland & Surinam
Position: Left wing or Right wing
Foot: Both
In the team since: January 1st 2013
Contract until: June 30th 2016
On loan from: N/A
Transfermarkt Value: £4.4m ($6.6m - €5.89m)

Tottenham are showing an interest in Feyenoord winger Jean-Paul Boëtius and scouting his performances all season in the Eredivisie. He is one to develop for the not too distant future and has been on our radar for over a year so despite playing under Ronald Koeman he has not come to Spurs attention because of the signing of Paul Mitchell. He has also been watched by Napoli and CSKA Moscow since his former boss Koeman handed him his debut. Soon after that Koeman spoke to the media and told them he felt Boëtius had a big future.

"Boëtius can become a very big player.  He has an advantage over other young talents, due to the fact that he reads the game better than his peers. He is a player who has been tipped for the top but had his development hampered by a knee injury last season that required surgery."

UEFA Champions League Squad: 2, Starting eleven: 2, Substituted in: 0, On the bench: 0
UEFA Europa League Squad: 7, Starting eleven: 3, Substituted in: 3, On the bench: 1
Eredivisie Squad: 17, Starting eleven: 11, Substituted in: 5, On the bench: 1
Beloften Preliminary Round Squad: 1, Starting eleven: 1, Substituted in: 0, On the bench: 0
KNVB Beker Squad: 1, Starting eleven: 1, Substituted in: 0, On the bench: 0

Jean-Paul Boëtius Playing Fact File
League Stats:
Appearances: 11 (5)
Minutes: 915 minutes (Equivalent to  games)
Goals: 4 (every 229 mins)
Assists: 0
Goals/Assists:  (every 229 minutes)
Yellow: 1
Red: 0
Pass Success: 79%

Only being 20 his game time is being managed with around 70 minutes performances interspersed with shorter subs appearances. He likes to cut inside as a winger and he gets fouled a lot, he also is good defensively and like Fede Cartabia doesn't mind a tackle.

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Boëtius has pace and technique, which allows his to skip past opponents easily and has creativity that allows him to still find a cross when zonally marked instead. The ability to read a game is very important nowadays, it can decide whether a talent grows or fails to flourish. Positioning, off the ball movement, knowing when to pass the ball or when to hold on to it have to be learnt but for Boëtius they seem second nature. That makes him a potentially valuable talent as he should mature quicker than other youngsters.

Spurs scout Konoplyanka alternative

Tottenham Hotspur are currently scouting wingers or wide men who can play the inverted attacking midfielder role as one of the three behind the main striker. The club are not in the situation where we can just go out and spend spend spend as some supporters would have it.

Financial Fair Play dictates a club has to live within it's means and that means being able to service all loans. With a stadium to be built money will be tight so the model we have is to develop players from the academy and source cheaper players who will suit the 4-2-3-1 system and who are not big money stars.

To that end we have brought in Paul Mitchell who previously worked with Pochettino at Southampton. He is tasked with player recruitment so it's his responsibility to source and investigate in a very detailed manner potential purchases for approval by Pochettino.

Mitchell comes up with a series of players who are agreed by Pochettino or rejected, they are valued and placed in order of preference, Franco Baldini is then tasked with obtaining the best deal for the club.

Aaron Lennon is looking to be replaced, he has to be sold before anyone can be brought in and at the moment we can't bring in any non-home grown players, until we sell one so a summer deal for a winger is far more likely. Those who have their contract ending in the summer can be signed on a pre-contract agreement, otherwise it's looking to agree a deal in the summer.

Players who have finished their contracts like to get signing on fees so although they are free transfers you are still paying a small lump sum fee, West Ham centre-back Winston Reid for example, who is thought to have agreed a deal with Arsenal, is believed to want a £3 million ($4.5m - €4.01m) signing on fee.

Tottenham are scouting a number of wingers, Konoplyanka is one, another is Fede Cartabia.

Fede Cartabia Fact File
Name: Federico Nicolás Cartabia
Date of birth: Jan 20, 1993
Place of birth: Rosario  Argentina
Age: 22
Height: 1.70 m (5ft 7in)
Nationality: Argentine or Italian
Position: Midfield - Left Wing
Foot: Left
In the team since: Jul 11, 2014
Contract until: 30.06.2015
On loan from: Valencia CF
Contract until: 30.06.2017
Transfermarkt Value: £4.4m ($6.6m - €5.89m)

Fede Cartabia - Argentine footballer who plays for Córdoba CF on loan from Valencia CF as a winger or an attacking midfielder. The 22-year-old has been one of club’s star performers this season and several Premier League clubs are scouting him including Tottenham. Cordoba have an option to buy Cartabia at the end of the season for £8 million ($11.89m - €10.70m). This he confirmed to the press in an interview in September, although he wants to return to Valencia.

“I really think this is going to be a good year for me. I work hard every day to make sure my learning continues. It’s a different type of environment from Valencia, we have to be more humble because our expectations are a lot different. My release clause at Valencia is 20 million euros but Córdoba have the option to sign me for 8 million, if my parent club agree to it. 
"I’m still very young, I think I tried to do everything too fast at Los Che. I’m feeling much better now this is my second year in La Liga and we’re working on fixing up my game as best we can. Every game that comes I want to assert myself as an important player and to learn from such experiences.”
He would appear to have the right mental attitude to work to improve every day, he used to go to work in the morning before training to help his family survive in Spain, such an experience can go a long way to keeping a players feet on the ground and keep him working at his game. He is young, he has potential and is a player we will be keeping an eye on for the rest of the season.

Fede Cartabia Playing Fact File
League Stats: La Liga
Appearances: 15 (2)
Minutes: 1,346 (Equivalent to 14.95 games)
Goals: 3 (every 448 mins)
Assists: 5 (every 269 mins)
Goals/Assists: 8 (every 168 minutes)
Yellow: 6
Red: 0
Pass Success: 78.6%

An excellent dribbler, Cartabia can hold on to the ball and he contributes well defensively, is not afraid of a tackle, but his 6 yellow cards suggest a discipline problem. Being a dribbler he gets fouled a lot and likes to shoot from distance. As a wide man he cuts inside a lot so would fit Pochettino's system of play.

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Cordoba sit 14th in La Liga, 2 points above the relegation zone, the video below shows his game against one of the top sides, last seasons La Liga Champions Atlético Madrid. It has not been especially picked out but just a random choice against a top side to give an idea of the player in action. He seems to improve as the game goes on and clearly has a skill to develop.

Dalglish - Pochettino & Baldini combination is working

Kenny Dalglish sees no problem with the technical director or director of football role at clubs, it's the way most clubs are going and managers have to,not just get used to it but find a way of making it work.

Dalglish - Pochettino & Baldini is working

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville discussed it and Carragher suggested that they should be a unit, you employ them together, you sack them together so the club always get the type of player the manager wants. Quite frankly any director of football should be capable of listening to a manager and taking on board the type of player he is looking for before bringing him names for approval.

To suggest the director of football just goes out and gets the players he wants and doesn't talk to the manager is laughable, yet some seem to think that's what happens and want to apportion blame accordingly. Liverpool legend Dalglish sees no problem with the system, after all it gives the manager more time to work with the team.

"It’s a system that is much maligned, but Pochettino has an advantage above many of the managers in the Premier League, in that he came from Spain and a situation working with a technical director. He understands how it works... and how to make it work for him. 
"That’s the key. 
"There’s nothing wrong with having a technical director if you can find a way of making it work with the manager, and I suspect that’s what happened at White Hart Lane – Pochettino addressed that before he went in."

All you need is clearly defined roles and plenty of communication. At Tottenham Paul Mitchell does the analysis and arranges scouting, Baldini puts his suggestions in from his contacts in the game and with Pochettino players are agreed or rejected then placed in order for Baldini to see what deals can be done within the constraints of Tottenham's finances.

We have had our splash the cash period, now it's the value for money and player development time.

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