Why Tottenham should reignite interest in Marcel Sabitzer
Back in March, a report from German outlet Bild (h/t Daily Star) had claimed that Tottenham were interested in signing Austrian international midfielder Marcel Sabitzer from RB Leipzig. However, the North Londoners were eventually put off by the German outfit’s massive £45million valuation of the 26-year-old.
Tottenham went on to enjoy a successful transfer window this past summer, bringing in the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Joe Hart, Matt Doherty, and Sergio Reguilon. Gareth Bale completed a fairytale return to the English capital on loan from Real Madrid. Carlo Vinicius also joined the boat on loan from Benfica as the designated understudy to Harry Kane.
Marcel Sabitzer started his professional career with Admira Wacker in Austria during the 2010-11 season before joining domestic rivals Rapid Wien in January 2013. He registered 12 goals and 8 assists in 57 appearances for Rapid Wien in all competitions before moving abroad with RB Leipzig in the summer of 2014.
The 26-year-old was loaned back to sister club RB Salzburg in his homeland for the 2014-15 campaign. Sabitzer went on to plunder a career-best tally of 27 goals and 21 assists in 51 appearances for Salzburg before returning to Leipzig ahead of the 2015-16 campaign. He guided the club to top-flight promotion with 8 goals and 5 assists in 32 league appearances in the following season.
Sabitzer has since established himself as one of the best attacking midfielders in the Bundesliga over the few seasons. He was one of the cornerstones of Leipzig’s fairytale march to the semi-final of the Champions League last term. The Austrian has amassed 44 goals and 36 assists in 193 appearances for the club in all competitions so far.
A full international for Austria since 2012, Sabitzer has accumulated 44 senior caps for his nation so far, scoring 8 goals in the process.
Sabitzer would be a quality addition to Tottenham’s midfield
Hojbjerg has proven himself to be a real bargain addition to Tottenham’s midfield. The Dane’s arrival has undoubtedly added some much-needed steel and tenacity to the club’s midfield cavalry. But Spurs still have pressing concerns in other areas of the pitch.
Dele Alli has suffered a significant fall from grace at Tottenham after falling out with Jose Mourinho. He is no longer a regular starter in North London. Moussa Sissoko remains a key cog in the midfield engine with his versatility but the Frenchman is not getting any younger at 31.
Erik Lamela’s influence has waned over the years after several recurrent injuries. Giovanni Lo Celso has also struggled to make a big impression in English football despite his potential. Gareth Bale’s return is a massive boost but the Welshman is already 31. And it remains to be seen whether Spurs manage to sign him permanently.
To that end, Tottenham reigniting interest in Marcel Sabitzer would offer Mourinho an instant solution to several issues in midfield. The Austrian international not only has the versatility to play as a box-to-box and central attacking midfielder but is also capable of slotting into a wide attacking role on the right.
Sabitzer’s versatility coupled with his impressive track record of goals and assists in the Bundesliga could well make him an upgrade on some of Tottenham’s underperforming stars in the midfield. A seasoned campaigner in the Bundesliga, Sabitzer has backed up his strong domestic performances with some quality displays in the Champions League as well.
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Suffice to say, Marcel Sabitzer seems more than ready to make the step up to English football. He still has his best years ahead of him at 26. He would inject a wide range of qualities to Tottenham’s midfield.
Considering his profile and the kind of progress he has made over the years, Leipzig have every right to demand a handsome ransom for their prized asset. That, however, shouldn’t stop Tottenham from testing their resolve with an improved offer in January.