Tottenham Hotspur fans – we know what you’re thinking: Who the hell is Georges-Kévin N’Koudou and why on earth aren’t we signing Mario Gotze instead?
After being linked to the World Cup winner by the Daily Star, Spurs seem to have ignored the Bayern Munich star to pursue a relatively unknown Ligue 1 winger.
According to The Guardian, Tottenham have struck a £10.9m deal with Marseille, and N’Koudou is expected in London for a medical in the next 48 hours.
SEE MORE: Tottenham transfer news: Deal agreed for winger; medical expected within 48 hours
So what do we know about him? This YouTube highlights video from FVHD, of N’Koudou’s 2015-16 season, shows what Spurs can expect from the Frenchman.
On this albeit limited evidence, the 21-year-old wide-man looks like the type of player who could excite and frustrate in equal measure – raw ability which needs refining.
Fortunately Tottenham have a manager who has an exceptional track record for doing that, helping to establish the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane as top-tier talents.
What might worry Spurs supporters is that a player of similar profile came to White Hart Lane from France and struggled – Clinton N’Jie, who only arrived last summer.
Upon joining Tottenham, N’Jie had made 37 Ligue 1 appearances, scoring seven goals and supplying eight assists. N’Koudou has seven goals and five assists in 62 matches.
Hampered by injuries, 22-year-old N’Jie did not make a single Premier League start last season and did not find the net once in any of his 14 appearances in all competitions.
And already there is talk that the Cameroonian could return to France. The Guardian claim that Marseille are keen, but any deal is separate to that of the N’Koudou switch.
That is not to say that N’Koudou cannot be a success at Spurs. He certainly has many desirable attributes such as his speed and flair, which has the potential to frighten defences.
Tottenham are in need of such a direct runner. Their attacking midfielders – Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela for example, are more technical and creative rather than explosive.
And another trait of his which would have attracted Mauricio Pochettino is his pressing. The clip which begins at 5.56 in the video is exactly what may have caught the Argentine’s eye.
Dispossessing the opposition in their own half and launching attacks on them is what Spurs did so well last season, and here N’Koudou drives forward to score from distance himself.
But his final product is not always there. The above package shows in particular how inconsistent his crossing is, and Tottenham need better quality as well as pace behind the striker.
N’Koudou might be another diamond in the rough which Pochettino could turn into a gem, but Spurs would be wise to aim higher to boost their return to the Champions League.
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