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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Is Vestergaard the right centre-back to replace Fazio?

Is Vestergaard The Right Centre-back To Replace Fazio?

Is Vestergaard the right centre-back to replace Fazio?

Last summer Tottenham were linked with a move for Werder Bremen centre-back Jannik Vestergaard and now we have been linked again.

The 23-year-old (24 in August) has been scouted by us for some time. Vestergaard is a commanding centre-back who is a household name in Germany. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark he has a Danish father and a German mother and grew up watching Denmark play and with an ambition to play for his country.

When 18, Hoffenheim signed him to play in their youth team. He made his first team debut and gradually became known as a towering centre-half (1.99m - 6ft 6 1/2in)  it was hard to get past. Werder Bremen signed him when they were sitting in the relegation places in the winter of 2015 as Hoffenheim were not progressing forward as a club and he felt it may affect his international future.

Six months later and he was captaining the Danish Under-21 side at the European Championships in the Czech Republic. They lost in the semi-finals to Sweden but Vestergaard attracted the attention of Everton and Newcastle United.


Strengths and Weaknesses

His height obviously makes him good in the air and that is coupled with a hard strong physical approach. He is excellent at reading the game, as asset that Toby Alderweireld demonstrates with aplomb. If you read the game you can anticipate better than a player who react to a game and that is shown by the number of fouls Alderweireld has to commit and the lack of yellow cards, unusual for a centre-back.

He is not quick, but his positional play, a result of his reading of the game, compensates for that. His height means he is am asset at set-pieces in both boxes. His long legs mean he can make challenges when he almost looks beaten.

He is confident and calm on the ball and plays with the same calmness Alderweireld displays. He isn't a hot-head so isn't going to flare up like Danny Rose might for example. He could do with tightening up his passing, it isn't a liability, but then it isn't his biggest strength either. He would have to learn to be more accurate with diagonal balls, again the like of which Toby Alderweireld makes to wide left or to Dele Alli making a run.

He has the authority to lead a line and has a bright future ahead of him. He has 6 international caps now and is the mainstay of the Werder Bremen defence. He has been likened to a faster Per Mertesacker and has played the zonal marking system.

Think back to all the traditional centre-halves like Mike England and you can see them in Jannik Vestergaard. The Dane fits in with our transfer policy and Pochettino will have learnt of the players character by talking to Christian Eriksen. he is a Champions League centre-back in the making when he improves his passing.



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