Tottenham shouldn’t hesitate one bit to reignite their interest in this rising Ligue 1 star in the summer – would be a great move

Tottenham Opinion: Should Spurs reignite their interest in Youcef Atal?

According to a report from the Guardian, Tottenham Hotspur were interested in signing OGC Nice full-back Youcef Atal in the January transfer window. However, the move didn’t materialise and Tottenham endured a dry winter transfer window.

Youcef Atal, 22, joined OGC Nice from Belgian club KV Kortrijk in the summer of 2018 and has hit the ground running in the Ligue 1, contributing with two goals in 20 appearances across all competitions. His performances haven’t gone unnoticed as Tottenham expressed an interest in him last month but couldn’t get a deal over the line.

But come summer, Tottenham should reignite their interest in the Algerian full-back.

Serge Aurier

Spurs signed Serge Aurier from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 but he hasn’t yet been able to find his feet in the Premier League. Aurier has the ability to thrive under Mauricio Pochettino, but his unreliability has seen Kieran Trippier take his place at right-back.

Trippier, on the other hand, returned to the club after a brilliant World Cup campaign that saw England reach the semi-finals in Russia. But he hasn’t been able to replicate his performances this campaign, with Pochettino preferring Aurier ahead of the Englishman in the 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League round of 16 first-leg last week.

And while Aurier put in one of his best performances in Tottenham colours against Dortmund, the matter of fact is that neither the Ivorian nor Trippier is reliable enough to start week in and week out under Pochettino.

Kieran Trippier

The Spurs manager also has the promising Kyle Walker-Peters waiting in the wings for his opportunity but he is too young to start regularly for the club.

Well, that should be enough for Pochettino to go all out to sign Youcef Atal in the summer.

Atal has taken Ligue 1 football like a duck to water, showing great ability and immense technical qualities under Patrick Vieira. The Nice boss has used Atal at right-back and right midfield and the Algerian has impressed.

The 22-year-old full-back is fantastic going forward and is equally solid defensively, excelling with his positional awareness and reading of the game.

The six-cap Algeria international is a tireless worker and despite being a full-back, he is a composed finisher in front of goal. Atal has good pace and dribbling skills to beat his marker and get into the final third for crossing opportunities.


A modern-day full-back, Atal has everything in his locker to take the Premier League by storm. He is a tantalising prospect and could prove to be a superb addition for Tottenham in the long run.

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Pochettino has already shown that he trusts youth and he should be the right manager to take Atal’s game to the next level. However, any move for the young Algerian in the summer could lead to either an exit for Tripper or Aurier.

Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.
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