Conte can unearth his next "big talent" as Spurs eye move for "tenacious" £26m bargain - opinion
Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their bid to bring Piero Hincapie to north London in the January transfer window. What’s the talk? That’s according to Dharmesh Sheth, with the Sky Sports journalist revealing in a recent post on Twitter that Chelsea have now joined the race for the Bayer Leverkusen centre-back this […]
Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their bid to bring Piero Hincapie to north London in the January transfer window.
What’s the talk?
That’s according to Dharmesh Sheth, with the Sky Sports journalist revealing in a recent post on Twitter that Chelsea have now joined the race for the Bayer Leverkusen centre-back this winter, with Graham Potter said to view the 20-year-old as a potential alternative to RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.
Sheth went on to state that the Ecuador international, who has also been heavily linked with a move to Tottenham in recent weeks, will likely be available for a figure in the region of €30m (£26m) in January.
Regarding the future of the centre-back, the reporter said: “Chelsea looking at Bayer Leverkusen central defender Piero Hincapie as a potential alternative to RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol. Hincapie played all of Ecuador’s group games at the World Cup. Contract runs until 2026. Told deal for 20-year-old could be done at €30m.”
Considering just how exciting a young prospect Hincapie has very much proven himself to be over the past year, the argument that Antonio Conte simply must do everything in his power to beat Chelsea in the race for the 20-year-old’s signature this winter is an extremely easy one to make.
Indeed, according to FBref, the £52.5m-rated talent currently ranks in the top 13% of centre-backs in Europe’s big five leagues for tackles per 90, in addition to the top 8% for blocks and the top 39% for interceptions – proving just how strong the 20-year-old already is in a defensive capacity.
The £19.5k-per-week Ecuadorian is also extremely impressive with the ball at his feet, with FBref also ranking Hincapie in the top 20% of his positional peers for passes attempted per 90, as well as the top 4% for dribbles completed, the top 34% for progressive passes, the top 15% for shot-creating actions and the top 7% for xAG – xG which follows a pass that assists a shot.
These metrics see FBref compare the youngster who David Cartlidge dubbed a “big talent” to some of the most impressive centre-backs currently playing the game, such as Tottenham’s own Cristian Romero, Chelsea stopper Kalidou Koulibaly and Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni.
As such, considering his strength at the back, his ability to both play and carry the ball out of defence and the fact he is reported to be available for a fee that is roughly £26.5m less than his current market valuation, should Conte manage to get a deal over the line for the “tenacious” – in the words of Jacek Kulig – Hincapie this winter, it would very much represent a major coup for Spurs.