According to Portuguese publication A Bola (sounds eerily similar to the highly contagious and deadly disease), Tottenham yesterday made a €45 million plus €15 million bid for FC Porto’s Pepe.
If the report is validated and verified, it’s a bid seemingly coming out of nowhere. Yes, Pepe was being monitored by Spurs, but an official bid for the 26-year-old seems odd.
The story was published in A Bola late Wednesday evening, saying FC Porto immediately rejected the €60 million all-in bid. Porto has slapped a price tag of between €70 and €75 million on their Brazilian attacker.
While somewhat perplexing, some aspects of Spurs’ supposed pursuit of the Brazilian make sense. Pepe is highly versatile, pivoting from one offensive position to another.
Aside from central defence, left back, and goalkeeper, he has played every position on the pitch, with left midfield and left winger his preferred positions.
That versatility would offer Ange several contingencies, providing cover for all five of the most advanced positions in Spurs’ 4-3-3. He could play at No. 8, left-wing, right-wing, or in the No. 9 role.
While finding up-front cover for Richarlison is Spurs’ top priority, Pepe has made only a handful of appearances as a No. 9.
That’s where the head-scratching starts.
Pepe is in his mid-20s, so that’s good. But he hasn’t exactly put up prolific offensive numbers, scoring just five goals in 55 appearances during the 2022-23 campaign.
He did, however, add 10 helpers. Still, those numbers, particularly considering the lower level of Portugal’s Primeira Liga, are by no means awe-inspiring.
Again, we still await verification from a reputable mainstream English publication. Even if Spurs did indeed submit the bid, it’s a moot point unless they increase their bid by €10 million.
Spending €70 million on a player who hasn’t potted more than five goals is, at least where I’m concerned, rather curious.
But Spurs’ scouts have access to a never-ending pool of analytically driven data, including Opta graphs and radar charts.
A Bola and/or Spurs’ top brass must know something I don’t, as it seems extremely out of character for the north London club to shell out up to €70 million on a player of Pepe’s seemingly underwhelming profile.
To make matters even more bizarre, he’s under contract at Porto until 2027 and has a €75 million release clause stapled to his current contract.