As Ange Postecoglou kicked off his Tottenham Hotspur tenure with a pre-season defeat to Premier League rivals West Ham United, it was perhaps clear as to why the Greek-Aussie has been looking to strengthen his defensive unit, in particular, this summer.
While it is often wise not to read too much into these warm-up encounters, the ex-Celtic boss may have still been concerned at seeing his side ship three times against the Hammers in Perth, with David Moyes’ men surging into a two-goal lead inside 23 minutes.
Having endured the sixth-worst defensive record in the division last term, the Lilywhites will desperately need to improve next season if they are to have any hope of regaining their place in European competition, hence why a string of centre-back targets have been named.
What are the latest Tottenham transfer rumours?
Much of the speculation at present appears to be surrounding the north London outfit’s interest in Bundesliga duo, Edmond Tapsoba and Micky van den Ven, with Daniel Levy and co said to have been engaging in talks with Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg, respectively, regarding the two central defenders.
That German-based pairing are not the only figures whom Tottenham are targetting, however, with The Sun having reported last week that Postecoglou is also showing an interest in Crystal Palace rock, Joachim Andersen, with Levy said to have been tracking the Denmark international since his prior stint on loan at Fulham.
While any deal for the former Lyon ace certainly won’t come cheap – with the 27-year-old set to command a fee of £50m – his strong showings at Selhurst Park of late would suggest that he can be the defensive solution that Spurs are craving.
What is Joachim Andersen’s style of play?
The 6 foot 4 powerhouse offers the benefit of being able to provide a towering, physical presence at the heart of the defence, while also having the quality to play out from the back when required, with that combination of qualities ensuring that the one-time Sampdoria man could be able to thrive at one of the Premier League’s elite clubs.
That was the verdict of pundit Robbie Earle during Andersen’s days at Craven Cottage, with the former Wimbledon midfielder discussing the defender’s suitability to life at Liverpool:
“Right now, he would be a perfect fit for Liverpool Football Club, by the way. Good size, can play, looks commanding, looks like he can organise, he’s 24 years of age.”
Those at N17 will also be intrigued by Andersen’s apparent likeness to Manchester City’s treble-winning ace, Ruben Dias, with the pair said to share a number of statistical and stylistic similarities, according to FBref.
That is shown by the two men’s desire and willingness to get on the ball, with the Palace gem notably ranking in the top 20% among his European peers for attempted passes, while Dias ranks in the top 1% in that regard.
Equally, the pair are also able to offer a real threat at the other end of the pitch, with Andersen ranking in the top 13% for touches in the attacking penalty area, while his Portuguese counterpart ranks in the top 18% for that same metric.
That likeness can also be seen by their leadership qualities, with Andersen having been named captain during his temporary stint with the Cottagers, while Dias has also taken on the armband at times at the Etihad, having been dubbed a “leader of men” by Sky Sports pundit, Jamie Redknapp.
That comparison to the latter man is of interest such has been the 26-year-old’s impact in Manchester over the last three years, with the former Benfica man having been hailed as a “man mountain” by pundit Michael Ball due to his standout showings under Pep Guardiola.
For Spurs to then snap up their own version of the 6 foot 1 titan in the form of Andersen could prove to be just what Postecoglou is searching for.