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How Tier 1 clubs could pick up a Dutch bargain in midfield, where Man City excel in attacking free-kicks and why Endo might be the summer’s best deal

Good morning tactics fans and welcome to the #TuesdayTactics newsletter – full of analysis, scouting and tactics. Fill up on your football knowledge – follow the Total Football Analysis page and be part of the squad that want more than just a match report.

Today’s TFA Talent is a 21-year-old Dutch midfielder, Dirk Proper of NEC. We started scouting Proper back in September 2022 and have tracked him for nearly a year and we strongly feel he is a potential bargain signing for a Tier 1 side. We’ve recommended him to several clubs at this level both in the January and summer window of 2023.

We can all agree that Man City are very good at most things they do, but not a lot has been delved into around their attacking free-kicks. Karim ES has taken this to hand in his weekly column.

Some eyebrows were raised when Liverpool added 30-year-old Wataru Endo to their midfield last week – after all, aren’t intelligent clubs supposed to be signing top young talent and giving them 8-year contracts? Jack Manship explains how Endo will fit in and could be one of the signings of the summer.

It’s been rumoured for a while, but is Ryan Gravenberch of Bayern Munich to join Liverpool and further strengthen that area? We have a TFA Scouted report on him for those who haven’t seen enough of him.

Jérémy Doku has been one of the most exciting attackers in Europe’s youth football scene for a few years now. With a move to Manchester City seemingly on the way, why not read up on what makes Rennes’ mercurial talent so exciting?

Benjamin Pavard is reportedly all set to join Serie A giants Inter from Bundesliga behemoths FC Bayern. While pondering what kind of role the Frenchman could play in Simone Inzaghi’s 2022/23 UCL finalists, you can read back on how Pavard’s versatility gave him a crucial role in his debut campaign with the Bavarians.

The teenage right-back Ivan Fresneda of Real Valladolid is rumoured to join Arsenal or Sporting this window – we scouted Fresneda back in April 2023 and felt that he was already capable of moving to a bigger Tier 1 team and competing for regular minutes.

Kristoffer Lund has made the transfer from Hacken to Palermo for €2.7m – we first identified Lund through our xGOLD tools back in August 2022 and have tracked him since believing he was ready for a Tier 1 move.

Victor Davila moves from Leon to CSKA Moscow for €5m – we scouted Davila in July 2023 and felt the Mexican attacker was ready for a Tier 1 move.

USWNT and Portland Thorns star Sophia Smith maintained her consistency following the World Cup as she helped her side to a 2-1 win over North Carolina Courage on the NWSL’s return by scoring a vital 69th-minute winner. Back in November of last year, we analysed why she offers her team a lot more than some may notice at face value.

Christian Pulisic scored as AC Milan defeated Bologna 2-0 in their first Serie A game of the season yesterday. When the USA int’l signed for Chelsea, he was one of Europe’s most sought-after young players — can he rebuild his reputation at San Siro this term?

That’s it for this today – we are back at the same time tomorrow. Spread the word!

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