Why Tottenham Need To Act Quickly In Their Pursuit of Thomas Lemar?
It is no secret that Tottenham Hotspur have been pursuing the signature of winger Thomas Lemar from AS Monaco. The diminutive wide-man has been on manager Mauricio Pochettino’s radar for quite some time now, but the club had received a transfer blow when reports emerged that their local rivals Arsenal were on the verge of completing a move for the Frenchman (Goal.com).
Lemar was one of the best players in the French Ligue1 this past season, as he helped the Principality club to wrestle away the league title from the clutches of Paris Saint-Germain. The 21-year old was also a key performer for Leonardo Jardim’s side in the UEFA Champions League as they made it as far as the semi-finals, where they were eventually eliminated at the hands of Italian champions Juventus.
While it was the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Bernardo Silva who hogged all the limelight, Lemar was equally important to the club’s fortunes, if not more. The France international finished the campaign with excellent returns of 14 goals and 17 assists from 55 games across all competitions.
Tottenham, in many ways, were similar to Monaco last season. A squad full of young talents playing with great attacking vibrancy and the exuberance that one can associate with the youthfulness in the ranks, the club are on the rise under Pochettino. They may not have been able to get their hands on any silverware, but came close to doing so and finished 2nd in the Premier League.
The likes of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Heung-Min Son, with Harry Kane leading the line – the team was playing some of the best football in England last time around. However, one element that was missing from the team was a natural out and out winger, who can provide the necessary width and directness from the wide areas.
Spurs have been searching for a player of that mould for more than a year now. They brought in young French talents in the form of Clinton N’Jie and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou to fill that void, but neither starlets looked the part and find themselves close to exit doors.
This is where Lemar comes into the picture. The 21-year old, who made his debut for the France international team last year, is a natural wide player with great all-round abilities and exciting potential. He possesses blistering pace that allows him to eat up the ground in front of him quite rapidly. He is a top class passer of the ball and can hit crosses into the box with surgical precision too – something which Mbappe and Radamel Falcao will attest to.
His ability to run past defenders with the ball at his feet, putting his excellent dribbling skills to use is a beautiful sight to watch for any fan. And to top that, his set-piece prowess is top notch, and he has the technical ability to have a go at the goal from long distances too. Despite not being physically imposing, Lemar possesses immense strength that allows him to hold the ball up in the attacking third.
Someone who can hug the touchline or cut in from wide areas, the five-time capped French international ticks almost all the boxes required of a winger and backs it up with good work-rate down the flanks as well.
Thomas Lemar: Made more key passes (74) than any other player aged 21 & under in Europe's top 5 leagues last season pic.twitter.com/hntraQ4pdq
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 16, 2017
The fact that he can score and create chances in plenty as seen from his numbers last season will be a boost to any side that has him in their ranks. The fact that he played 74 key passes last season – the most by any player aged 21 or lesser in the top five leagues is a testament to his creative ability and talent at such a young age.
When he has so much going for him, it is natural that the big wigs from across Europe will want to get their hands on the talented youngster. Tottenham too would be given a huge boost with a player of his ilk and quality in their ranks. So, when reports of Arsenal being close to sign him broke, it will have come as a blow for the Lilywhites.
However, they may have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Lemar. Latest reports have emerged claiming that the Gunners have had a €35million bid rejected by Monaco for the 21-year old (Goal.com). This could turn out to be Tottenham’s window of opportunity to make a move. There are no questions about Lemar’s talent and potential and at 21, he is only going to get better from here on. Spurs, if they are to become a heavyweight in England and Europe, need to act fast and snap up Lemar from under the noses of their neighbours.
Stats Courtesy: Transfermarkt.com