Spurs must land £14.4m-rated “leader” to replace Vertonghen, he wont cost Levy a penny – opinion

Tottenham Hotspur are moving early with their summer business and now with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg nearly through the door, it’s time to replace the recently departed Jan Vertonghen – and there’s a perfect successor out there for free.

What’s the word?

According to The Athletic, free-agent centre-back Malang Sarr is a “possibility” as Jose Mourinho could look for extra depth in the defensive department.

They claim that Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld will be the main men in the role next season but they have been linked to additions, namely Kim-min Jae of Beijing Guoan and Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma.

But it’s Sarr who’s freely available to move following the expiry of his contract at Nice, leaving Daniel Levy with a potential bargain – especially with him being rated at £14.4m by Transfermarkt.

Vertonghen successor

The 21-year-old should be right up Spurs’ street as he’s a left-footer who can also play at left-back, thus providing Ben Davies with adequate competition in the same way that Vertonghen did for many moons in north London.

Sarr has been a regular in the French top-flight for several seasons now despite his age – across his career, he’s averaged 2.4 clearances, 2 interceptions, 1.4 tackles and 3.8 long balls per game, via WhoScored.

His ball-playing capability is evident having also managed just under 60 passes each time he steps out onto the pitch at a consistent accuracy rate of 89.4%. Impressive stuff.

Nice boss Patrick Vieira claims Sarr has the “personality of a leader” which bodes well for trying to replace a figure like Vertonghen who was undoubtedly an influence in the dressing room having spent eight years at the club.

Arch-rivals Arsenal are also reportedly in the hunt, so to be able to land a blow to their Europa hopes before a ball is even kicked would be a psychological boost ahead of the next campaign too.

Levy would only have to pay his wages, so a swoop for Sarr would be an absolute bargain.

AND in other news, Dan Kilpatrick reveals Spurs “admire” relegated STAR…