Total Football Analysis Magazine #8: May 2019

It has now been confirmed that Kieran Trippier has left Tottenham Hotspur to join Atletico Madrid for a reported £21m.

Trippier has made Kyle Walker’s right-back spot his own since he departed for Manchester City, shown by the fact Trippier has played 51 Premier League games for Tottenham over the last two seasons.

Now reports are suggesting that Tottenham are looking at two players from Serie A for Trippier’s potential replacement.

With Tottenham being 4/7 to finish in the Premier League top four again next season (with many bookmakers according to Oddschecker) it is imperative they replace their right-back sensibly. Many opening day football accumulator tips will no doubt include Spurs given that they are 3/10 to beat newly-promoted Aston Villa on the opening day.

So who could Spurs look at as a replacement?

Elseid Hysaj

Napoli’s Elseid Hysaj is one of the players linked with Spurs and was also linked to Chelsea after Maurizio Sarri moved there from Napoli in 2018.

An advantage to signing Hysaj is that he is versatile enough to play at both right-back and left-back, something that could come in handy for Tottenham if they are to also sell Danny Rose, who has been left out of their tour of Singapore.

Elseid Hysaj’s 1.5 tackles per 90 is better than the likes of Kyle Walker-Peters (1.2), Toby Alderweireld (1.1), Eric Dier (1.3), Moussa Sissoko 1.2 and Victor Wanyama (1.0) – all stats from Whoscored.com

Also, Hysaj’s 0.9 interceptions per 90, match Danny Rose, Serge Aurier, Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier who all also have 0.9.

Since joining Napoli from Empoli in 2015, Hysaj has gone on to make 170 appearances for Napoli in just four seasons – helped by the fact he’s only had one recorded injury in his career which only kept him out for four days.

Hysaj has admitted he may need to leave Napoli to win trophies, he told Albanian outlet Digitalb:

“I am absolutely ready for a new adventure because I need to change. I am not the type who always likes being in the same team and in the same environment and tell me that I feel good, that I don’t want anything more,”

“I want to have new experiences, get to know a new country, new people and a new team, maybe try to win something. For me, the years at Napoli are over. I hope to find a team to give me what I need.”

Alessandro Florenzi

Florenzi would be another versatile option, the Italian was converted from a central-midfielder to a winger and then to a right-back.

This season, Florenzi has shown he can be an impressive utility man and has proved that by playing as a right-back, left-back, left-winger and right-winger for AS Roma.

Where Hysaj stood up well against Spurs’ players for his defensive stats, Florenzi makes his mark with his offensive stats:

Florenzi’s 1.4 key passes per 90 ranks third against the whole Tottenham team, behind only Eriksen (2.1) and Trippier (1.8).

The Italian is also ahead of most in crossing. Florenzi’s 1.4 crosses per 90 ranks second in the Spurs team and is only behind Trippier’s 2.0.

Trippier beats Florenzi in terms of tackles per 90 (2.5 compared to Florenzi’s 1.3), but Florenzi is ahead when it comes to interceptions per 90 (1.6 compared to Trippier’s 0.9).

Comparing Trippier with Florenzi shows that although Trippier is marginally ahead in most of the aforementioned stats they’re both in the same ballpark for a pretty much all of them, and because of that Florenzi could be an astute choice to step into Trippier’s boots for Spurs.