Better than Dele: Mourinho would love £31.5m-rated “leader” who has outshone Havertz – opinion

According to journalist Alex Crook, Tottenham are looking to sign RB Leipzig star Marcel Sabitzer.

What’s the word?

Having taken over the reins in north London mid-way through the season, Jose Mourinho heads into his first summer transfer window in charge of Spurs looking to strengthen his team ahead of the new campaign.

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And speaking on talkSPORT, Crook has claimed that the Lilywhites are aiming to beat a host of other top clubs to the signing of Austria international Sabitzer, who of course was instrumental in Leipzig’s Champions League triumph over Spurs.

The midfielder struck twice in the second leg of the contest as Julian Nagelsmann’s men dumped Spurs out of the competition.

Better than Dele Alli

Aside from delivering a masterclass against Spurs, Sabitzer was the picture of consistency for Leipzig throughout the 2019/2020 campaign.

All in all, he scored 16 goals and provided 11 assists in 43 games across all competitions, and when you consider that Spurs’ Premier League rivals Chelsea are reportedly planning on making a big-money move for Bayer Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz, there’s a real argument that it’s Mourinho’s side who are getting the better player right now.

Whilst Havertz had a fine campaign himself – he netted 18 times and provided nine assists in 45 games – he was a complete shadow of himself in the Champions League. In the five matches he played in, he failed to score or provide a single assist, compared to Sabitzer who has been instrumental in Leipzig’s run to the semi-finals – he has four goals and three assists in eight matches.

Described as a “leader” by Nagelsmann, Sabitzer is the kind of perfect attacking midfielder that Mourinho would surely love. The Austrian’s current manager said: “He is incredibly ball-safe and a good ball conqueror with a lot of really great actions.” The 26-year-old does just as much off-the-ball as he does with it, and it’s something his boss at national team level has echoed.

Franco Foda remarked: “Marcel is a player who gives everything for 90 minutes, does a lot for the team and works a lot defensively.  He runs a lot, has some good technical moments, and is now scoring goals.”

When you look at just how inconsistent of a season Dele Alli had last year, he averaged a dismal 0.9 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per game, a move for Sabitzer makes so much sense. He’s far more of a reliable player in terms of his performances, and as the Lilywhites have seen themselves, steps up in the big occasions. The Austrian is a real live-wire, creating chances for others and putting them away himself. He’s the kind of all-action player Mourinho could build Spurs around.