Spurs Opinion: Lilywhites should sign Fenerbahce starlet Eljif Elmas
According to claims from Turkish source Fanatik, Spurs are interested in signing Fenerbahce starlet Eljif Elmas in the summer, with the 19-year-old also attracting interest from several other European clubs.
The same report claims that the Lilywhites would need to battle it out with Serie A duo Fiorentina and Lazio, as well as Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg if they are to get their hands on the highly-rated Macedonian international.
Elmas made his move to Turkey last summer from Macedonian club Rabotnichki and spent time as a first-team fringe player in his first season before establishing himself as a regular at the heart of the midfield for the Yellow Canaries in the current campaign.
The 19-year-old has a total of 36 appearances for the Super Lig giants in all competitions this season, with 25 of those coming in the domestic league and 7 in the Europa League.
As the youngster’s stocks continue to soar higher after his equaliser against Galatasaray in the Super Lig, let us take a detailed look at one of the brightest young prospects outside the top five European leagues- Fenerbahce’s Eljif Elmas.
Born in Skopje, Macedonia, to parents of Turkish descent, Elmas rose through the youth ranks at his boyhood club Rabotnichki before making his professional debut in 2015. He turned down an offer to represent Turkey at the international level and made his international debut for Macedonia in 2017, aged just 17.
Elmas moved to Fenerbahce last summer and has gradually risen to prominence with a series of impressive displays.
Style of Play and Strengths
Eljif Elmas is a technically-gifted versatile midfielder who is capable of playing in multiple roles in the middle of the park. While he is essentially a defensive midfielder, the 19-year-old has also showcased the versatility to play in a No.8 box-to-box role and on either side of the pitch as a wide midfielder.
He has also been used as an attacking midfielder behind the striker at times but he is most productive when used in a central role deep in the midfield.
The Macedonian is noted for his quick feet, above-average dribbling skills and impressive distribution, while also possessing the game-reading ability to anticipate the transitions in play and cut out the attacks with crucial tackles and interceptions (2 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game in the Europa League).
He knows how to use his 6ft. frame to good effect, holding off the opposition in the midfield with his physicality and keeping things together with his well-rounded passing attributes.
A tenacious and physically dominating midfielder, Elmas not only excels with his ability to pick out the correct pass and contribute to the build-up play but he drives forward with his pace as well, carrying the ball with intent and acting as the link between defence, midfield and the forward line.
Elmas has also shown an eagerness to make late runs into the box from a deep position in the midfield and he has the shooting prowess to test the goalkeeper from outside the area.
What does the future hold?
With clubs from the Serie and Premier League expressing an interest in the starlet, Fenerbahce would have to do really well to keep hold of their talented midfielder. Elmas is not the finished article just yet, but if a move to Spurs does materialize for the 19-year-old in the summer, he might relish working with Mauricio Pochettino.
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The Argentinian has a big reputation of transforming youngsters into world-beaters and Elmas might be a surprise package for the Lilywhites next season, though he would need time to acclimatise to English football.