A stumbling block for Pochettino – Why Tottenham must avoid signing this highly-rated Spanish superstar
According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Tottenham Hotspur are regular watchers of Real Mallorca defender Joan Sastre. The same report has claimed that the likes of Crystal Palace and Atletico Madrid are also interested in the 20-year-old.
Sastre has played 26 times for Mallorca in the country’s third-tier this season, helping the club to the top of the table with eight games to spare. The right-back has been a consistent presence for Mallorca this campaign and although his contract runs until the summer of 2020, there is a clause which will raise from €3million to €5million at the end of the season, as per the report.
Speaking about Spurs’ interest in Sastre, it comes as no surprise to me as Mauricio Pochettino is always on the hunt for talented youngsters with top potential. Sastre is one of the most exciting young right-backs plying his trade at Mallorca. He has certainly impressed a lot of clubs with his dazzling displays in the Spanish third-tier and continues to be an important member of his club.
The 20-year-old has made 27 appearances this season and has contributed three goals, which certainly speak more on the attacking nature of the right-back. Being a full-back, the first and foremost thing a player needs to have is top defensive skills. If he prospers defensively, then the attacking contributions come into foray and Sastre has already shown how good he is when it comes to contributing to the attack.
Sastre’s speed and marauding runs up and down the right flank has seemingly caught the eyes of some of the top clubs, including Spurs. His ability to defend has also been commendable and at just 20, has shown enough maturity under high-pressure situations. While it is difficult to judge Sastre’s calibre, one just cannot keep Spurs out from scouting top young guns in the game.
However, currently at right-back, Spurs have the likes of Serge Aurier, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker-Peters. Trippier has been the club’s no.1 right-back since Kyle Walker departed for Manchester City last summer. The England international has been a reliable presence on the right and has performed both defensive and offensive duties quite well.
Aurier, since signing for Spurs from PSG at the start of the season, has blown hot and cold. While at times he has performed magnificently for Spurs, there have been times where he has shown his hot-headed nature and lunged at players unnecessarily. Despite showing his brash side on a number of occasions, Pochettino has kept faith in Aurier and continues to give opportunities to him in big games.
And then there is Walker-Peters, eagerly waiting to impress his manager after starting the first game of the season against Newcastle. So, if Spurs are thinking of signing Sastre from Mallorca, they should dodge the bullet as the club already has a lot of options at right-back. Above all, signing the Mallorca defender would hinder Walker-Peters’ progress at the club.
So it would be wise for Pochettino to continue with Trippier and Aurier for this season while slowly developing Walker-Peters by giving him chances in the first-team from next campaign onwards.