Should Tottenham sign Bologna centre-back Riccardo Calafiori?

Italian news outlet Corriere di Bologna recently reported on Tottenham's interest in signing 21-year-old centre-back Riccardo Calafiori from Bologna, but how likely is the prospective transfer?
Bologna FC v US Sassuolo - Serie A TIM
Bologna FC v US Sassuolo - Serie A TIM / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

The rumour hasn't hit any mainstream UK publications yet. Usually that's due to one of two reasons: Either the rumour is in its infancy, or it has little chance of materializing into anything more than fodder. This one feels like a little of both.

Highly touted in the Serie A, Calafiori is still only 21 years old. He has started 17 of 19 matches this season for Bologna, with the opening two matches the only exceptions. Thanks mainly to Calafiori's outstanding play, Bologna is having a terrific campaign, currently in sixth spot.

Only the central defender's first season as a regular starter, you can see why Tottenham would be keen on inking his services. Like Micky van de Ven, Calafiori is quickly rising to prominence despite his somewhat impressionable age. He's also at the perfect stage of his fledgling career to learn and develop under the guidance of Ange, who is prioritizing the youth movement at Hotspur Way, unlike his stubborn predecessors.

A red flag impossible to ignore

However, there is a major red flag where Calafiori is concerned. The promising centre-back has already endured many injury issues and was forced to miss most of 2018-19 with a severe ligament rupture. That 290-day injury represented his longest time on the sidelines. However, it was by no means the only time he missed. Hamstring woes, further ligament problems, and muscle issues headline the disconcerting laundry list of ailments

Since 2018-19, Calafiori has missed 134 matches due to injury. While comparatively more healthy than he was, the U21 Italian has still missed over 10 matches in each of the last two seasons. Under contract at Bologna until 2027, the central defender is currently worth about €13 million, according to Transfermarkt.

Strengthening and fortifying the spine of the team is one of Ange's top priorities, evidenced by the signings of Micky van de Ven, Ashley Philips, and Radu Drăgușin. The question for Spurs is whether Calafiori is worth the risk.

At that valuation, probably. But Tottenham will be additionally cautious about signing the 21-year-old given what happened when they signed Ryan Sessegnon, another promising young, injury-prone talent.