Another centre-back added to Tottenham’s transfer shortlist

TBILISI, GEORGIA - JUNE 23: Micky van de Ven of Holland U21 during the U21 MenPress Conference Holland U21 at the Meshki Stadium on June 23, 2023 in Tbilisi Georgia (Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images)
TBILISI, GEORGIA - JUNE 23: Micky van de Ven of Holland U21 during the U21 MenPress Conference Holland U21 at the Meshki Stadium on June 23, 2023 in Tbilisi Georgia (Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

According to the Guardian and Fabrizio Romano, Wolfsburg’s Micky van de Ven has been added to Tottenham’s transfer target shortlist.

Along with Edmond Tapsoba and Gleison Bremer, van de Ven is the latest name to be added to Tottenham’s list of desirable centre-back targets.

The 22-year-old Dutchman enjoyed a breakout season in the Bundesliga, appearing in 33 league matches and cementing his place as one of the first players on Wolfsberg’s team sheet.

The 2022-23 campaign was his first full season in the Bundesliga. Various qualities will appeal to Ange Postecoglou.

van de Ven is a left-footed centre-back who, unsurprisingly, plays on the left side of the central defensive partnership.

He is also versatile, seamlessly able to swing to the left side of defence. However, the young Dutchman’s preferred position is central. He would provide a more affordable option than Spurs’ other two primary candidates.

van de Ven is currently making less than €10,000 weekly (about €8,000), the sixth-lowest salary on Wolfsburg’s books.

Transfermarkt has his worth of about €30 million.

There is a caveat to that valuation, as Transfermarkt has recently consistently undervalued players’ valuations. Wolfsburg’s asking price will probably be about €40 million, allowing room for negotiating a slightly lower price.

Although Tottenham probably wouldn’t pay much more than €30 million for the youngster.

His age will also appeal greatly to Postecoglou. At 22, van de Ven has his whole career ahead of him. Centre-backs usually mature and hit their prime at a slightly older age, giving Postecoglou ample time to mould the Dutchman, ensuring he reaches his uncapped potential.

Here’s a breakdown of some analytics from his 33 Bundesliga appearances last season. I’ve compared him to Eric Dier and Spurs’ other primary defensive candidate, Tapsoba.

Edmond Tapsoba

  • 90.7 percent passing accuracy
  • 67.1 percent forward passing accuracy
  • 90.6 progressive passes
  • 64.7 successful defensive actions
  • 79.3 percent defensive duels won
  • 48.1 percent aerial duels won (a slightly worrying stat)
  • 88.8 progressive runs
  • 4528 minutes played in 2022-23

Eric Dier

  • 80 percent passing accuracy
  • 65.3 percent forward passing accuracy
  • 41.5 progressive passes
  • 15.9 successful defensive actions (ouch!)
  • 5.2 percent defensive duels won (ouch times a million!)
  • 67.8 percent of aerial duels won
  • 38.2 progressive runs
  • 4211 minutes played in 2022-23

Micky van de Ven

  • 57.7 percent passing accuracy
  • 65.5 percent forward passing accuracy
  • 33.3 progressive passes
  • 11.7 successful defensive actions
  • 29.2 percent defensive duels won
  • 49.9 percent of aerial duels won
  • 88.7 progressive runs
  • 3486 minutes played in 2022-23

As you can clearly see, van de Ven is far more raw than Tapsoba, a younger, more inexperienced version of the Bayer Leverkusen centre-back.

While the stats tell a tale of inferiority compared to Tapsoba, the Dutchman is highly rated by Wolfsburg manager Niko Kovač, who trusts van de Ven unconditionally.

Ronald Koeman also highly regards van de Ven, placing the youngster on his preliminary World Cup roster. However, van de Ven has yet to make his international debut with the Oranje.

Based on his recent trajectory, that is bound to occur soon.

The looming question is whether the 22-year-old is ready to infiltrate Tottenham’s starting 11. The answer to that question would fall on Postecoglou’s ability to get him Premier League ready.

Liverpool is also linked with the Dutchman, complicating further any prospective deal.

Next. James Maddison to Tottenham update. dark

He presents a different option for Postecoglou and Spurs, who might prefer van de Ven’s lower cost, especially if they decide to splash out on James Maddison.