Why Tottenham should reignite interest in Merih Demiral in January
According to a recent report from Goal (h/t Football.London), Tottenham had been linked with a move for Juventus centre-back Merih Demiral before the summer deadline. The Lilywhites approached the Serie A giants over a potential deal for the youngster but were rebuffed, with Juventus unwilling to discuss a departure for the Turk.
Merih Demiral rose through the youth ranks of Fenerbahce and had a brief stint at Portuguese lower-division outfit Alcanenense before making his professional debut for Sporting Lisbon’s reserve side in the second-tier.
The centre-back was transferred to Turkish top-flight club Alanyaspor in the summer of 2018 and he subsequently joined Italian outfit Sassuolo in January 2019, initially on loan with an obligation to buy.
Demiral started 14 games for Sassuolo during the second half of the 2018-19 campaign, with his hugely impressive displays paving the way for a move to Juventus last summer. The Turk, though, found himself limited to a bit-part role in Turin last term due to stiff competition for places, starting just 5 Serie A games.
The 22-year-old represented Turkey across various age-groups between U-17 and U-21 before making his full international debut in 2018 and has since accumulated 13 senior caps for his nation.
Demiral would be a good long-term signing for Tottenham
Tottenham successfully added more depth and quality to their squad in several departments with the acquisition of six fresh faces before the summer deadline. While Sergio Reguilon and Matt Doherty were brought in to bolster the full-back department, the Lilywhites also arranged loan deals for Gareth Bale and Carlos Vinicius to reduce the workload on talisman Harry Kane in front of goal.
However, Spurs failed to cover the void created by the departure of Jan Vertonghen at the end of last season, despite being linked with several centre-backs throughout the summer. A move to sign Milan Skriniar fell through after Inter Milan refused to budge on their £55m asking price while Antonio Rudiger backed out of a potential loan switch from Chelsea.
That has left Mourinho with Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez, and Eric Dier as his centre-back options, with Juan Foyth sealing a loan move to Villarreal before the deadline. Tottenham haven’t had any problems with their lack of depth at the back just yet, but with fixtures set to come thick and fast on multiple fronts, injuries could well derail their campaign.
To put things into perspective, Tottenham should prioritise a new centre-back when the transfer window reopens in January, and reigniting interest in Merih Demiral would definitely make sense. The Turkish international has already shown glimpses of his potential in Italy and remains highly-rated.
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Hence, a potential deal for Demiral in January would not only add more depth and cover to Tottenham’s backline for the latter half of the campaign but the Lilywhites can also afford to look at him as an excellent long-term investment moving forward.
The 22-year-old still has his best years ahead of him and looks more than capable of sorting out the club’s defensive issues for the foreseeable future.