Why Tottenham must beat Arsenal to sign Dries Mertens
According to Italian outlet Il Mattino (h/t the Metro), Tottenham and Arsenal are battling for Napoli forward Dries Mertens.
The Belgium international, 32, is currently in his seventh season at Napoli and has been a world-class performer in Serie A, having scored 116 goals in 295 games in all competitions for the club.
However, the forward is now coming towards the end of his contract with Napoli and could be available on a free transfer next summer.
This seemingly has top clubs on alert, with Tottenham and Arsenal among those to have registered an interest in the 32-year-old ahead of a potential move. (h/t the Metro)
Dries Mertens is a very good player, experienced and has proven himself at the very highest level. He has scored an impressive 88 goals and provided 47 assists in 216 appearances for Napoli in Serie A since joining from PSV in 2013.
The Belgian is also versatile, capable of playing anywhere across the front-line, although he has found rich success operating through the middle in the last few years.
Even at the ripe age of 32, there’s no doubt about Mertens’ quality and the impact he could make at any club. That being said, Tottenham must beat Arsenal to the attacker’s signature in the winter transfer window.
It’s been a problematic campaign for Tottenham as they are placed 14th in the Premier League table after 12 games, with just three wins to their name. Manager Mauricio Pochettino has a lot to ponder as his team has failed to build on its run to the Champions League final last season.
Spurs have the chance to bounce back when they return to action following the current international break, with a tricky trip to the London Stadium to face West Ham in the early kick-off on Saturday, November 23. Whatever the result be, Pochettino should reinforce his squad in January if he’s to make it to the top four this season.
Strengthening the defensive options has to be the Spurs manager’s top priority given the fact that his team has been defensively all over the place this season. The likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are out of contract in the summer. Also, Pochettino should look to sign a back-up striker for Harry Kane, who has been unfortunate with injuries over the last few seasons.
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In that regard, Mertens would be perfect for Spurs. The Belgian has been playing at the highest level for a long time now and could offer Pochettino’s side some priceless Champions League experience. The former PSV Eindhoven star will be an excellent option off the bench, whilst giving Tottenham the lift they need to make a serious challenge for the top four positions.
Thus, Tottenham must go all out to sign Mertens in January. If they manage to sign him, not only will it be a big boost for Pochettino’s side but also help them put one over their north London rivals.