Why Tottenham should try to win the race for right-back Jonjoe Kenny
As per the report, the full-back department has been highlighted as a problem area for Spurs and the 22-year-old is among the club’s shortlist of potential targets during the mid-season trading period.
The Daily Mail claims that the 22-year-old has also attracted interest from London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, with his stocks continuing to rise following his loan switch to FC Schalke in the German Bundesliga this past summer.
The Liverpool-born prodigy hasn’t featured for Everton in the Premier League this season but has scored once and assisted twice in 17 league outings for Schalke so far and the Toffees might have to make a decision on his future sooner than later, with so many top clubs hot on his trail.
Kenny has clocked up a total of 40 appearances for Everton in all competitions since coming through the club’s youth system and while he has shown plenty of promise over the past few years, the 22-year-old has found it difficult to establish himself as a regular starter at Goodison Park due to the presence of Seamus Coleman.
Meanwhile, Tottenham have once again started to blow hot and cold in recent weeks after an impressive start to life under Jose Mourinho. Having somehow secured a 2-2 draw against Norwich City last weekend, the Lilywhites were handed a shock 1-0 defeat by Southampton on New Year’s Day.
With the transfer window now open, Mourinho has plenty of food for thought and the Portuguese tactician will surely have to cast his rod into the January transfer pond for some new signings to boost Tottenham’s surge for a Champions League spot.
If the latest 1-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton was anything to go by, Spurs need to prioritize the recruitment of a new right-back as soon as possible, given that Serge Aurier was exceptionally poor at both ends of the pitch against the Saints.
The Ivorian has shown that he has the ability to turn in colossal performances but there seems to be no semblance of consistency in his form and Spurs just can’t afford to continue relying on such mediocrity if they are to push on for greater heights under Mourinho.
Kyle-Walker Peters was tipped to establish himself in a more substantial role following the departure of Trippier but the academy graduate has struggled to win the trust of Mourinho.
To put things into perspective, it is largely due to Coleman’s presence that Jonjoe Kenny has struggled to establish himself at Everton, but his promise has been there for everybody to see on his loan spell at Schalke.
As per Whoscored, Kenny has averaged 1.5 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 0.5 crosses, 2.4 clearances, 0.7 key passes and 3 long balls per game in the Bundesliga this term, figures which speak volumes of his well-rounded qualities at both ends of the pitch.
The England U21 international is not yet the finished article but his vast potential means that he is only expected to get better with time. One might argue that bringing in a proven and experienced right-back should be the way forward for Spurs but a top homegrown prospect like Kenny could be an excellent long-term investment.
Despite his promising displays at Schalke, the 22-year-old’s future at Everton is still unclear, with new manager Carlo Ancelotti yet to assess the youngster at close quarters and Djibril Sidibe now in the mix.
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Suffice to say, the door seems open for Tottenham to capitalize and a deal for Jonjoe Kenny before the end of the month could well go a long way towards sorting out the club’s right-back conundrum.