Spurs eyeing "unstoppable" 60m Kulusevski & Richarlison upgrade

spurs eyeing

Spurs eyeing "unstoppable" 60m Kulusevski & Richarlison upgrade

The first transfer window Ange Postecoglou had in charge at Tottenham Hotspur saw him spend an extraordinary £212.3m, to bring four prominent first-team players to the club, with the aim of helping them secure European football once again. That included the permanent captures of Dejan Kulusevski and Pedro Porro.

Spurs added some quality in attacking areas to their squad last summer, by bringing in Brennan Johnson and James Maddison to the club. Johnson joined in a deadline day deal from Nottingham Forest for £47.5m, a record sale for the East Midlands side. They brought Maddison into the club from Forest’s rivals, Leicester City, for a £40m fee.

At the other end of the pitch, Spurs also strengthened in order to make them more defensively secure. The signing of Guglielmo Vicario from Empoli became the direct replacement for Hugo Lloris for £17.2m, and Micky van de Ven was brought in from Wolfsburg for £43m and has enjoyed a stellar season.

This summer, Postecoglou has requested three signings to help improve his squad, according to James Olley of ESPN. This summer will also see several players leave Spurs in order to get deals over the line.

In particular, there will likely be some outgoings which will make room for a big Premier League attacker to join the club.

Spurs looking to sign Premier League winger

The player in question here is Wolverhampton Wanderers and Portugal winger Pedro Neto. Despite a tough season with injuries, Neto has put up some impressive numbers and is now subject to interest from Spurs and other Premier League clubs.

According to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook, Wolves could sell Neto in a £60m deal, although Spurs are not thought to be the only side interested. Crook believes Newcastle United, Premier League champions Manchester City and Spurs North London rivals Arsenal are also interested in signing the 24-year-old.

This story comes just days after Wolves manager Gary O’Neil suggested that his side must sell several players to fund their transfer dealings this summer. In a recent interview, O’Neil explained that Wolves “won't be blessed with resources as in money to spend”, although their players currently out on loan “can come back and help us or we will be able to sell some”.

This certainly opened the door to a potential departure for Neto, and he could well fetch a commanding fee which O’Neil can reinvest into his side.

How Neto would fit in at Spurs

Despite his aforementioned injury issues, having missed 20 games this season with a hamstring injury, the winger's impressive record is certainly an attractive prospect for Spurs. In 20 Premier League games this season, the 24-year-old has scored twice and registered nine assists. On top of that, he has one goal and two assists in four FA Cup appearances.

What makes this even better is the fact that Neto has played just 1,519 minutes in the Premier League. In total, that equates to just 16 90 minutes, meaning he has 11 goal involvements in that time.

Signing Neto would add a great deal of depth to Spurs’ wide options. The Portugal international can play right across the attack, having played in four different positions just this season for Wolves. It creates interesting competition with the likes of Richarlison and Kulusevski, whom he has registered more assists than.

Neto's Premier League season by position

Position

Games

Goals

Assists

Left-wing

3

0

1

Attacking midfield

3

1

1

Right-wing

8

1

6

Centre forward

4

0

1

Total

20

2

9

Stats from Transfermarkt.

However, he would likely play on the right wing predominantly, given Spurs’ depth on the left-hand side includes Johnson, and their captain Son Heung-min can also play there if they recruit a striker this summer. Spurs’ first choice on that side is currently the Sweden international Kulusevski, but that could certainly change with the signing of Neto.

In signing the dynamic Wolves man, you get a very different winger to the former Juventus star, and also Richarlison, who has been known to play on the wing at times under Postecoglou, too. Neto is one of the most direct players in the Premier League, who likes to pick the ball up and drive at a full-back, whereas Kulusevski is more safe in his approach, looking to keep the ball and wait for an opening.

Indeed, this is reflected in their respective Fbref numbers. Statistically, Neto is one of the best dribblers in European football this season. He averages 5.83 progressive carries per 90 minutes, which ranks him in the top 5% of wingers in Europe, 3.86 carries into the final third per 90 minutes, which places him in the top 3%, and 2.49 carries into the penalty box per 90 minutes, ranking him in the top 11%.

In contrast, as per Fbref, Kulusevski averages just 4.9 progressive carries per 90 minutes, which ranks him in the top 21%, 2.01 carries into the final third per 90 minutes, ranking him in as low as the 38th percentile, and 2.61 carries into the penalty box per 90 minutes, which he ranks higher in than Neto, in the top 9%.

Where Neto struggles compared to Kulusevski is in his progressive passing. The Portugal international averages just 3.21 progressive passes per 90 minutes, which ranks him in the 34th percentile, 1.37 final third passes per 90 minutes, placing him in the 27th percentile, and 1.72 passes into the penalty box per 90 minutes, placing him in the 67th percentile. With that being said, he does average 2.26 key passes per 90 minutes, which ranks him in the top 20%.

Comparatively, the Swede averages 4.68 progressive passes per 90 minutes, which ranks him in the top 29%, 1.75 final third passes per 90 minutes, ranking him in the 46th percentile, and 2.39 passes into the penalty box per 90 minutes, which places him in the top 6%. His 2.13 key passes per 90 minutes are worse than Neto's, and it ranks him in the top 25%.

There is no doubt Neto adds a very different dynamic to this Spurs attack. He is a profile they lack and has great output, too. He was described as “unstoppable” by one football analyst on X, and, as the numbers reflect, it is clear to see why.

For the £60m fee Wolves are rumoured to want for their talismanic winger, it could well be an astute piece of business from Postecoglou’s side, and it would allow them to supplement their squad with a deadly two-way winger.

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