Why Tottenham signing this 25-year-old African star would get them ready for a long, hard season

Habib Diallo was in sensational form for Metz last season (Getty Images)
Habib Diallo was in sensational form for Metz last season (Getty Images)

Why Tottenham should pursue a move for Metz striker Habib Diallo

According to claims from BeIN Sports via GFFN, as cited by Football.London, Tottenham are in pole position to complete a move for Metz striker Habib Diallo should they choose to make a move for the 25-year-old in the summer window.

The Senegalese international had been on the radar of the North London giants back in the January window and while the player’s agent confirmed interest from the Lilywhites, a move to English football never quite materialised for the striker. (h/t Football.London)

However, as per the report, Metz are now understood to be open to offers for Diallo and would consider selling their star striker if an acceptable bid is put on the table. The player is also hoping for Tottenham to renew their interest in his services, with Jose Mourinho believed to be keen on bringing in a back-up to talisman Harry Kane.

Metz striker Habib Diallo still poised to leave this summer ...
Diallo bagged 12 goals and 3 assists for Metz in the 2019-20 Ligue 1 campaign (Getty Images)

Profile

Born in Senegal, Diallo started his professional career at Metz in France, beginning his journey with the reserves before making the step up to the first-team in Ligue 2 during the 2015-16 campaign. 

He initially struggled to make an impact in the French top-flight and went through a couple of loan spells at Brest in Ligue 2 before returning to his parent club in 2018. 

Diallo propelled Metz back to Ligue 1 with an impressive 26-goal haul in 2018-19 Ligue 2 season and hasn’t looked back since then, cutting the teeth in the top-flight with a decent tally of 12 goals and 3 assists in 26 appearances last term.

Why Tottenham need him

Harry Kane has shouldered the bulk of Tottenham’s goalscoring workload single-handedly over the past few years, with the likes of Lucas Moura and Heung-min Son supporting the England international from the wide areas. 

Harry Kane
Tottenham have struggled whenever Harry Kane has been out of action (Getty Images)

Much like his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino, Mourinho too has relied on the likes of Son and Lucas to fill in the centre-forward role whenever Kane has struggled with injuries.

Indeed, both are more than capable of playing through the middle but their productivity up front isn’t the same as what it is when they play in their natural position. And that is exactly why Tottenham ideally need a specialist back-up centre-forward to take the pressure off Kane.

Diallo might not be the most prolific of strikers in Europe but it is his supreme aerial ability that could possibly make him a good fit for Mourinho’s style of play that necessitates the presence of a target man up top. 

Kane has performed that role but he’s not always the best when it comes to winning aerial duels against big defenders. According to Whoscored, the Englishman won only 74 out of a possible 190 duels in the air in the PL last season, amounting to an average of just 2.6 per game and a success rate of 38.95%.

Habib Diallo (R) in action against Saint Etienne in Ligue 1 (Getty Images)
Habib Diallo (R) in action against Saint Etienne in Ligue 1 (Getty Images)

On the contrary, Diallo only scored 12 goals in the prematurely-ended Ligue 1 season but averaged an impressive 4.3 aerial duels per game, having won 112 out of 270 duels in the air at a success rate of nearly 42%. Hence, the presence of Diallo in the ranks could add another dimension to Tottenham’s attack.

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Verdict

With fixtures in the PL set to come thick and fast next season due to the delayed start, injuries could be a big issue for all teams and that’s exactly why squad depth could be absolutely crucial. Habib Diallo seems like a decent option for Tottenham and it will be interesting to see whether Mourinho looks to scour the market for Senegalese star this summer.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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