After a few quiet weeks in a busy transfer window, Tottenham and Antonio Conte appear to be closing in on their seventh summer signing in the form of Udinese’s Destiny Udogie.
First reported by Fabrizio Romano, Spurs and Udinese are set to reach a deal for the defender this week, whilst personal terms have already been agreed between player and club.
According to Romano, Tottenham considers Udogie as one for the future, meaning he will likely remain on loan at Udinese rather than join up with the squad for the upcoming season to further his development.
Unlike our other signings, Udogie is far from a household name and even an unknown quantity to most Spurs fans; however, Conte and Paratici have identified him as a future starlet for Tottenham.
In truth, his expected arrival is a slight surprise for fans, as after Ivan Perisic joined earlier this summer, it seemed Conte was content with his LWB options.
Having said that, moving for Udogie now rather than next season may be wise as if he enjoys another campaign like his last, the reported £20 million fee may end up looking like a bargain next summer.
It’s no secret Conte is incredibly demanding of his wingbacks, as he expects near unlimited energy when both attacking and defending; however, Udogie appears to possess such criteria.
Five goals and three assists in Serie A last season marks a highly impressive attacking output, whilst completing 16.64 pressures and 2.73 tackles per 90 demonstrates his competency and eagerness to defend.
Of fullbacks across Europe’s top five leagues, Udogie ranked in the top 3% for non-penalty goals per 90, whilst 2.14 shot-creating actions per 90 is also a more than respectable return for a player of his age.
Given Conte likely views Udogie as the potential heir to Ivan Perisic, this attacking prowess is paramount if he is to eventually replace the creativity and output the Croatian is expected to bring to the side this season.
At 19, it’s no secret that Udogie is still raw, so another season of first-team football with Udinese will undoubtedly further his development and see him gain valuable experience before transitioning to the Premier League.
Admittedly, another fullback, especially on the left, may not have been top of fans’ wishlist for the remainder of the window. However, Udogie looks to be a hot prospect, and capturing him now shows the proactivity of an elite club – resembling Manchester City’s signing of Julian Alvarez last winter before loaning him back to River Plate.
As mentioned, it’s more than likely we will have to wait another year to see Udogie in a Spurs shirt, although if he enjoys another season like his last, he is sure to be a welcomed addition at N17.