Antonio Conte may not be following Fabio Paratici to England – Daniel Levy and the Italian reportedly didn’t see eye to eye on transfer budgets – but the Tottenham Hotspur side that kicks off the 2021/22 campaign could still have a Turin twang to it.
According to Calciomercato, the highly rated sporting director plans to put his stamp on the Tottenham squad by signing two Juventus players at either end of their careers.
Leonardo Bonucci, the 34-year-old, eight-time Serie A champion, has even more silverware on his CV than Conte himself.
Meanwhile, Dejan Kulusevski, at 21, is a player on the opposite end of the spectrum. What he lacks in experience he makes up for in the kind of defence-splitting capabilities Spurs fans haven’t seen since Christian Eriksen in his pomp.
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The former Parma playmaker – Serie A’s young player of the year in 2020 – loves nothing more than breezing past opposition midfielders before sliding an inch-perfect through ball behind enemy lines or launching a laser-guided rocket into the top corner.
Kulusevski’s debut season in Turin was decidedly mixed – the Stockholm-born starlet flitted from anonymous to unplayable – but the comparisons with a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic speak volumes.
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Kulusevski may not lead the line like Ibra, doing his work out wide or in a withdrawn number ten role, but, as Sven Goran Eriksson explained last year, both players possess that rare ability to produce something out of nothing. Rabbit-out-of-the-hat footballers with a penchant for the spectacular.
Just five years ago, Arsenal missed out on the chance to sign a teenage Kulusevski for as little as £86,000 (Goal).
A move to north London, then, has been a long time coming. But, if Paratici wants to make an immediate impact at Tottenham, signing one of Europe’s best young attacking midfielders is certainly the way to go.