Who is….the Eredivisie hotshot Spurs are intrigued by?
While the race for the title looks like testing a few nerves at White Hart Lane before the season’s end (11/4 second favs for the title), one would expect that with an 11-point cushion over fifth-placed West Ham, Spurs should be confident of heading into the summer as a Champions League side.
Of course such a boast brings with it a veritable pull in the transfer market, and after a season in which Mauricio Pochettino has proved himself all too happy to blood promising youth, Tottenham will have as strong a case as any club in Europe when it comes to persuading the continent’s best young footballers to join.
One such youngster appears to be Frenchman Sebastien Haller, whose goals this season for Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie have ensured that there’ll be fluttering eyelashes aimed his way from a host of managers this summer.
Aston Villa, Norwich and Sunderland were said to be battling for the 21-year-old’s attention in January, but with no deal agreed it seems that in only a couple of months Haller’s reputation has elevated so much that he’s earned the right to be sniffy about interest from lowly relegation battlers.
Instead, with 21 goals in 31 games for the side currently fifth in the Dutch top flight, the likes of Inter Milan, Ajax, Monaco and Spurs are reported to have muscled their way to the front of the queue.
Haller began his career at Auxerre before embarking on a loan move to Utrecht in 2014. After winning the club’s Player of the Year award that season, he signed a permanent deal at the Stadion Galgenwaard and has enjoyed a stellar campaign; sat third in the goalscorers charts with his side chasing European qualification.
Haller has represented France at every level from under-16s to under-21s, with nine goals in 13 appearances for the under-21s suggesting that it won’t be long before he’s invited to make the step up to full international.
The French side who defeated Russia 4-2 the other night in their Euro 2016 warm-up friendly featured no less than eight Premier League players, and with recent arrivals Dimitri Payet, Anthony Martial and N’Golo Kante taking no time at all to adapt from Ligue 1 and become household names in England’s top flight, the French market is currently held in high regard by scouts and recruitment staff alike.
Having spent three formative years at Auxerre before his move to Holland, Haller comes with good pedigree. His former club may have hit on hard times of late but their youth setup is still regarded as among the best in France, responsible for the likes of Djibril Cisse, Abou Diaby, Bacary Sagna and Phillipe Mexes.
Should Spurs firm up their interest with a concrete approach, they’ll be expected to hand over around £8m to secure Haller’s signature.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.