Last January, West Ham was able to beat Spurs to the loan of Jesse Lingard and Europa League, as a result, are the Hammers again about to trump Tottenham in the market?
Last season it was Jesse Lingard who was the difference-maker for West Ham in a tight Premier League race. This season it could be worse for Tottenham, as suddenly the Hammers are being linked with two established Premer League performers, Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha of Leeds United.
I do not want to take anything away from Kalvin Phillips as he and Hojbjerg would form a fearsome midfield in the right situations. Further, as an English national he would bolster the club’s local player numbers. However, as much as Phillips would bring, Raphinha is exactly the kind of players Tottenham both needs and has been looking for.
Raphinha is the kind of player Tottenham needs
If Raphinha is available Tottenham must be in on it. Raphinha brings to the table all of the same assets that Tottenham was seeking in both Adama Traore and Luis Diaz. Raphinha has great speed and is an excellent dribbler, like both Traore and Diaz. Unlike Traore, Raphinha has an end product with eight goals and two assists this season. Unlike Diaz, Raphinha is Premier League-proven and would be much less of a risk and a year younger to boot.
Again unlike Traore, there is no question about whether or not Raphinha would play wing-back, he has previously and presumably would again. He can also play equally well on either side of the pitch presenting a wonderful compliment to Heung-min Son, Steven Bergwijn, and hopeful signing Dejan Kulusevski.
Odds are that Leeds is not going to sell either player as they desperately want to stay in the Premier League another season. However, if there is any chance that the Brazilian attacker could be available Tottenham must move and not again be beaten to the punch for proven Premier League talent by West Ham. Even if it is not Raphinha, the blueprint for what Spurs need should be clear.