After being linked forever with Bruno Fernandes, only to sign Gedson Fernandes, now a third Portuguese Fernandes, Pizzi, is linked with Tottenham Hotspur.
Luis Miguel Alfonso Fernandes, more commonly known as Pizzi, is the third Portuguese midfielder named Fernandes rumored for Tottenham Hotspur in a year and could be the one Spurs are looking for.
Bruno Fernandes ultimately signed with Manchester United and Gedson Fernandes is already at N17 on a long-term loan.
Now Pizzi is the latest rumor, according to A Bola, so who is he and what would he bring to Spurs?
Creative playmaker Spurs are missing?
Pizzi is a playmaker, and unlike Bruno Fernandes, he does so from a somewhat unusual position, right midfield. After playing more centrally for much of his career at Benfica over the last season and a half, Pizzi has found a home playing right midfield and it has turned into quite a boon for the Portuguese giants.
Already a playmaker, with no less than 12 assists in any season in the last four years, moving to the right midfield helped Pizzi discover his scoring shoes. Over the last two seasons, the midfielder has scored an amazing 45 goals for Benfica, while assisting a further 42. That is 87 goals created or scored in the last two seasons. In fact, Pizzi was so prolific last season he averaged MORE than one goal/assist, at 1.07, per 90 minutes.
Just for a frame of reference, the more well known and celebrated Bruno Fernandes averaged 1.02 goal/assist per 90 over the last season, when he had 27 goals and 22 assists. In fact, Pizzi compares quite favorably to his namesake Bruno. While Bruno has averaged more goals over the last four seasons than Pizzi – 20 to 16 – Pizzi has averaged more assists at 16.5 to 15.75 and the Goals/Assists per 90 average over four seasons is about a tenth of a point apart at .726 for Pizzi and .828 for Bruno.
For their careers, the numbers are quite similar as well, with Bruno having more goals, but fewer assists over their careers, but Bruno also has taken a few more penalties, with his 24 penalties made representing some 29 percent of his career goals, versus Pizzi’s 16 PKs making up about 20 percent of his goals. So, they both convert some penalties but Pizzi is not nearly as reliant on them for his scoring output.
Any way you look at the numbers, Pizzi is a talented player in his prime at 30 with a few good years left in the tank. So now the question is does he make sense for Spurs, whose midfield could use the creative boost.
Right price, but wrong age for Tottenham?
While A Bola was quoting a 20 million euro mark for Pizzi, transfermarket.com shows his value about their at $24.4 million or 20.6 million euros. We know at this point, particularly until something is done with Tanguy Ndombele, that Daniel Levy and company are not about to break the bank.
However, 20 million for a seasoned playmaker is not a bad deal. This is particularly true given that Levy would turn the 20 million price tag into about 12 million and a pair of jeans or something like that. So, the price is right.
However, that other number next to Pizzi is the question, 30. Not the 30 goals he managed last season, but the years of life he has led. While 30 is not over the hill and Tottenham just gave a contract extension to Toby Alderweireld who was also born in 1989, Toby earned that extension with play over several seasons at Spurs. Whereas Spurs would be spending out on an older player, with the likelihood of a return of the proceeds from resale being less than promising.
Of course, in the Premier League, teams are always willing to pay for names and talent, even if it is 32 or 33, so I think the resale should not be as big of a deal. More importantly, given the inability to count on Ndombele at this time and the clear need for some creative playmaking, that does NOT occupy the space directly behind Harry Kane in the center of the pitch, Pizzi seems to make sense.
What do you think, probably a bit unknown for many, but certainly capable, is Pizzi the bargain missing creative piece Spurs are looking for? Or is he just too old for Levy to open the checkbook for? Spurs still need creativity, if not Pizzi, who should they look to sign? While the current signings are good, sure hope Tottenham are not done.