Why Tottenham should reignite their interest in Youcef Atal in January
According to a report from the Independent, Serge Aurier wants to leave Tottenham this month amidst interest from AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
The Ivory Coast international has failed to live up to the expectations at Tottenham following his transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017. He struggled to make an impact last season, with just 8 league appearances, with injuries playing a role and that has seen him consider his future.
By letting Kieran Trippier go, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino ensured that the club would have to depend on both Kyle Walker-Peters and Juan Foyth.
Those were supposed to be their only two options at right-back, with Spurs transfer listing Aurier. But Foyth’s pre-season injury changed everything for the club, with Aurier now in contention for the first-team spot.
However, interest from AC Milan and PSG have changed the situation revolving around the Ivorian, who is apparently considering his options. He enjoyed plenty of success in the French capital after spells with Lens and Toulouse and could be willing to return back to PSG.
Back in May, the Telegraph had claimed that Tottenham were interested in signing OGC Nice full-back Youcef Atal.
Youcef Atal, 23, had a very good season with OGC Nice under manager Patrick Vieira. He has shone in his debut season in Ligue 1 and has the potential to become one of the finest full-backs in European football.
With Aurier keen to leave Spurs this month, Pochettino must rekindle his interest in Atal and attempt to sign him from OGC Nice during the January transfer window.
Spurs look short of options at right-back following Kieran Trippier’s departure. Pochettino has shown faith in Walker-Peters but he is too young to be relied upon for the entire campaign. Plus, Foyth has been ruled out for at least a month with ankle ligament damage which should make the signing of Youcef Atal a lot of sense.
A right-back by trade, Atal can play on the right or left-wing and has done a job on the right side of the midfield too in Ligue 1. He is incredibly pacey and can make a few dangerous runs in the opposition half.
The Algerian is also a capable defender inside his own half as he can cover a lot of ground when left isolated at the back. The Nice rising star has added some goals and assists to his game in the previous campaign.
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It is Atal’s qualities in the final third that make him such an appealing prospect for the future. He utilised his pace, close control, excellent balance and exquisite dribbling to good effect for Nice last season, emerging as one of the best runners with the ball in Europe.
The Algeria international has the qualities to thrive in the Premier League. If Spurs can manage to bring him in, it would be a fantastic move in January which could provide Pochettino’s side with the boost in the second half of the campaign.