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Spurs could sign new Vertonghen for £70m “special” talent

Under Ange Postecoglou, Tottenham Hotspur have never been a team intent on sitting back and defending.

No, they played heavy-metal, high-pressure ball, playing right on the edge in their quest for glory.

Did it work? Yes, yes and no. The Australian earned praise for such style but left us wide open at times.

In the end they went on to score 61 goals in the league, more than Manchester United and Crystal Palace with 58, the same as Fulham in 13th place and worse than Everton's haul in 15th place out of 51.

So, a defensive addition or two would certainly do the trick this summer.

Spurs' biggest defensive target

It looks like Tottenham's recruitment team is ready to face the challenges of the Premier League in a bid to land one target.

That happened to Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite, the man behind that aforementioned record at Goodison Park.


Indeed, reports from Sky Sports suggest that while Man United are interested in the young English talent, Manchester City and Spurs are both after him.

The problem may be Branthwaite's price. The 21-year-old is thought to be worth between £60m-£70m; a pretty penny indeed.

Why Branthwaite could sign well

However, the truth is that Spurs need to improve at the back, even if they have the likes of Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven in their arsenal.

Romero has been a great asset throughout the 2023/24 campaign, using his dominating attitude to dominate attackers. As such, he ranks in the top 10% of defenders in the Premier League for tackles, top 17% of aerials won and top 1% of non-penalty goals, showing his impact at both ends of the pitch.

Tottenham defender Cristian Romero

On the other hand, Van de Ven had a very topsy-turvy debut campaign in north London. Heralded for his ridiculous speed, rising to the fastest pace in the Premier League this season, he has had a few shaky moments.

Do you remember that game against Newcastle? Yes, the Dutchman will want to forget it as soon as Alexander Isak sent him on stage at St James' Park.

Therefore, the axis of defense of Spurs can do well in another way. Radu Dragusin signed in January but he is by no means the level of player Branthwaite is.

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite

He is left-footed and according to Sky Sports commentator Jamie Carragher, a “very special” talent.

That left-footed strike will no doubt help Postecoglou's side hold on, giving the Lilywhites a natural angle to play from down the left.

It's something Jan Vertonghen has given Tottenham during his 315 appearances for the club. Also blessed with the ability to play at left back, the former Spurs captain was gifted in management, like Branthwaite.

Vertonghen's Premier League career by the numbers



Goals Scored


Goals Scored


Clean sheets


Yellow Cards


Red Cards


Data via Footy Stats.

Both have a good left foot, the Everton star is especially built for football. Now, Sean Dyche's style of play did not allow Branthwaite to flourish in this area last season but he came to the fore during his loan spell at PSV in 2022/23 where he was given more freedom to create the ball.

As such, he has been successful with 87% of his passes, ranking in 19% of central defenders in the Eredivisie. His long-term pass rate of 71.2% was enough to put him in the top 6% of quarterbacks at that time.


So, how does Vertonghen compare? However, playing for Anderlecht in the Belgian top flight, he also completed 87% of his passes and ridiculously completed 70.3% of his long passes, coming close to Branthwaite's figures.

Branthwaite vs Spurs CBs: Passing Stats

Number (90th percentile)



Van de Ven

Passing success %




The success of long passes




Key passes




Continuous passes




Data via FBref: Branthwaite = 2022/23 Season.

While Branthwaite's passing numbers in the 2022/23 campaign are nowhere near Van de Ven's, their position is not limited to how you can find your teammates.

The Toffees feel it's going to be a great game. After all, there was a reason for Dyche's men to keep a second clean sheet in the division (13), this term.


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