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Spurs eyeing “wonderkid” who could be their next Modric

Written by on May 15, 2024

It’s been a Premier League season of ups and downs for Tottenham Hotspur football club this year, and while they haven’t been able to clinch that final Champions League place, the future looks bright.

Ange Postecoglou has instilled a new sense of attacking fervour within the squad, and with the right additions in the summer, they could go one step further next year.

Several players could be replaced over the coming months, and surprisingly, one of those could be Rodrigo Bentancur, as the latest star touted for a move to N17 could end up being the Lilywhites’ next Luka Modrić.

Tottenham Hotspur transfer news

According to a recent report by respected journalist Graeme Bailey, Tottenham are one of several clubs interested in LOSC Lille star Angel Gomes.


angel-gomes-lille

The journalist revealed that, alongside the Lilywhites, the player’s former club, Manchester United, West Ham United, and Aston Villa are also monitoring his situation ahead of an important summer transfer window.

No price has been reliably reported yet, but CIES Football Observatory currently values the midfield maestro at €30m, which converts to £26m.


angel-gomes-lille

While this isn’t cheap by any means, if his final price is anywhere near CIES’ valuation, then Spurs should be looking to bring the Englishman to N17 as he could be the perfect Bentancur upgrade and has won favourable comparisons to former White Hart Lane great, Modric.

How Gomes compares to Modric and Bentancur

Okay, so before getting onto the ways Gomes would be an improvement over Bentancur, it’s time to look at the comparison to Real Madrid star Modric.


Luka Modric for Tottenham.

The comparison itself stems from FBref, which provides a list of the ten most similar players for each player in its database. They have concluded that the Croatian great is the fourth most similar midfielder in Europe’s top five leagues to the Lille ace.

When looking at the pair’s underlying numbers from this season, there are some key statistics that jump out as being quite close to one another, such as their expected goals, non-penalty expected goal and assists figure, number of shots, passing accuracy, the number of completed medium and long passes, their goal-creating actions, the number of blocks and ball recoveries they complete, and the number of aerial duels they win, all per 90.

Gomes compared to Modric

Stats per 90

Gomes

Modric

Expected Goals

0.07

0.07

Non-Penalty Expected Goals + Assists

0.28

0.38

Shots

1.19

1.30

Passing Accuracy

89.4%

86.7%

Completed Medium Passes

22.2

23.9

Completed Long Passes

5.83

7.85

Goal-Creating Actions

0.43

0.57

Blocks

0.79

0.73

Ball Recoveries

4.42

4.86

Aerial Duels Won

0.25

0.45

All Stats via FBref for the 23/24 League Season

It’s certainly a flattering comparison to receive for the former United “wonderkid”, as described by talent scout Jacek Kulig, but there is merit to it, and with the right coaching, he could end up reaching similar levels.

With that said, how does he compare to the man he’d likely replace in the centre of the park, Bentancur?

Well, from an output perspective, he comes out miles ahead. In his 44 appearances this season, the 23-year-old has scored two goals and provided ten assists, while the Uruguayan has scored one goal and provided one assist in 22 games.

The comparison is just as heavily weighted in the Englishman’s favour when looking at the pair’s underlying numbers, as he produces a higher non-penalty expected goal and assists figure, more progressive passes and carries, maintains a higher passing accuracy, produces more shot and goal-creating actions, and makes fewer errors, all per 90.

Gomes vs Bentancur

Stats per 90

Gomes

Bentancur

Non-penalty Expected Goals + Assists

0.28

0.23

Progressive Passes

7.12

6.60

Progressive Carries

1.69

1.55

Shots

1.19

0.39

Passing Accuracy

89.4%

83.6%

Shot-Creating Actions

3.71

2.71

Goal Creating Actions

0.43

0.39

Tackles

0.86

2.04

Errors

0.04

0.10

All Stats via FBref for the 23/24 League Season

The Spurs man does take more shots and make more tackles, but that could well be more about the system than individual talent. Moreover, his potential replacement has started 15 games as a defensive midfielder in his short professional career, so there is no reason to think he couldn’t be just as defensively astute.

Ultimately, while Bentancur is a talented midfielder, he doesn’t stack up to Gomes in a genuine comparison, and considering the youngster has similarities to the Ballon d’Or-winning Modric, Spurs pulling the trigger and bringing him to N17 seems like a no-brainer.

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