Tottenham Hotspur continue to be linked with plenty of potential incomings for the upcoming January window, which hints that Antonio Conte has another war chest to unleash in his bid to revolutionise his club.
It seems that one particular area of interest is in midfield, where the Italian seeks to add creativity and unpredictability to bolster his attack and offer something more when his team cannot break down stubborn opposition.
Whilst James Maddison might be the immediate option, given how he is already excelling in the Premier League, perhaps Conte could return to his homeland to find a superb alternative for a fraction of the price.
The 26-year-old boasts seven goals and four assists already this term, looking to build upon last season’s haul of 18 goals and 12 assists. Despite this, a reported price tag of £60m could put him just out of reach for the Lilywhites.
Instead, they could act upon rumours which emerged earlier in the month and finally sign long-term target Ruslan Malinovskyi.
Reportedly available for just €15m (£13m) and having failed in a summer bid, Tottenham could now save themselves millions and reignite their interest in a player of similar pedigree to Maddison.
Despite enduring a poor season, with just three goal contributions to his name, the Ukraine international has proven on numerous occasions that he can be a top performer.
Just last season he recorded 17 goal contributions across the board, while in the 2020/21 campaign he scored eight goals and set up 12 in Serie A alone. During that campaign, football journalist Fernando Evangelio even lauded the Atalanta dynamo as “an animal” after he had scored again.
As such, Malinovskyi sits in the top 4% for progressive passes, the top 7% for assists and the top 9% for total shots among positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues in 2022 (via FBref), a firm indicator of his attacking threat.
The midfielder has been a consistently creative presence for years now at Atalanta, as outlined in his tally of 58 goal contributions across 142 appearances at the club.
Although the Ukrainian’s numbers might seem to falter when compared to the recent successes of Maddison, the disparity is not so large that it demands spending an extra £37m on the Englishman.
Therefore, Conte must seal an ideal alternative in the reliable maverick Malinovskyi.
Who would you prefer Spurs to sign?