Tottenham Hotspur are keen on signing 20-year-old defender Marash Kumbulla from Italian side Hellas Verona in the summer. Spurs are tracking the central defender, who has made a big impression in the 2019-20 season, which has attracted interest from several sides across Europe.
As per La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness), the North London club see Marash Kumbulla as a long-term replacement for experienced centre-back Jan Vertonghen, who is set to leave the club at the end of the season. Vertonghen’s contract with Spurs expires at the end of June and it’s unlikely he’ll sign a new one at the club.
Kumbulla debuted for the Hellas Verona senior side in 2018 and has made 21 appearances in all competitions so far. His current contract with the club expires in 2022.
Marash Kumbulla: A good move for Spurs?
Tottenham need to bring in a few fresh faces and get rid of some players if they are to stand a chance at competing for a top-four place under Jose Mourinho. One player that will be let go is Jan Vertonghen, who has been a great servant for the club but is past his best as has been evident from his displays this season. Toby Alderweireld signed a new deal which will keep him at the club till 2023, and he will be an integral part of the Spurs defence. But, whom he will partner at the back is still uncertain.
Davinson Sanchez got off to a decent start at the club and was expected to emerge as a top-class option this season but he has not followed that trajectory this campaign while Juan Foyth doesn’t seem to have the confidence of the board.
Manager Jose Mourinho needs to sign a player who can compete with Sanchez for the centre back position, and Marash Kumbulla could perhaps be that player. Although he is just 20 years of age and has played just under 25 professional games, he has shown a lot of promise. Very good in the air, Kumbulla averages 2.7 headers per game in Serie A, while he is also strong in the tackle, averaging 1.8 tackles per game.
He has been likened with Diego Godin for his no-nonsense defending and the clever use of his body to put the attacker off his game. Kumbulla presses close and dispossesses attackers of the ball, and is a centre-back that puts defending as his primary goal over other aspects of the game which will suit Jose Mourinho’s style. His youthful approach and energy will also help a lacklustre Spurs squad and Jose’s recent tendency to play with three centre-backs mean he will get ample opportunities in case a move materialises.