Is Todibo The Right Defender to Help Spurs?
Welcome back to Rating the Rumour, which does exactly what it says on the tin. We’ll be taking the biggest transfer rumours related to Premier League teams and rating the likelihood of the moves coming to fruition.
The final rating will be decided based on the potential fit of the player into the rumoured buying club, the need for that club to sign a player for the position played, whether the player is of the level required by the club, whether the club could afford the rumoured price and whether or not the player is even likely to be available for transfer.
We will not factor in the reliability of the rumour, as it would likely cause mass amounts of crying from outlets, journalists and “journalists” who would have to be denounced as spoofers.
With the ground rules laid out, let’s look at Jean-Clair Todibo to Tottenham Hotspur which has been reported by the Evening Standard.
Todibo is a hand-in-glove fit for Tottenham’s high line with his recovery pace and physical profile. Pairing him with Micky Van De Ven would give Tottenham the fastest CB pairing anywhere in world football. He would also work well as cover for Van De Ven next to Cristian Romero, replacing the Dutchman’s size and speed and allowing Tottenham to continue playing the desired style of Ange Postecoglou even if Van De Ven is unavailable.
He’s also a very capable passer and carrier of the ball, which again fits into what the Australian tactician is looking for from his defence.
Fit Rating – 2/2
There’s no question that Tottenham need further reinforcements in the middle of their back-line. Eric Dier is simply not up to the required standard and while both Ben Davies and Emerson Royal can “do a job” in the position, neither are natural central defenders and struggle with the physical aspect of the position.
Whether Tottenham need a central defender of Todibo’s calibre is up for debate, given the quality of the incumbent starters but having three starting-level options for two positions can not be a bad thing, especially when both Romero and Van De Ven have injury issues and Romero will always miss the odd game through suspension. Todibo would also give Postecoglou the option of playing a back three and releasing Pedro Porro and Destiny Udogie into their more natural wingback positions.
Need Rating – 2/2
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better defender anywhere in Europe right now than Jean-Clair Todibo. He is the primary reason for Nice having the best defensive record in the top five leagues so far this season and he is still only scratching the surface of what he can become. At 23, soon to turn 24, he is still years away from his peak years.
Without question, Todibo is currently the best French central defender and given the competition, that’s quite the tag to hold.
Level Rating – 2/2
The Evening Standard reports an asking price of £39mil for the Frenchman, which represents excellent value given his age, physical profile, current level of performance and potential for development. Spurs spent heavily in the summer, in part paying for players who had previously arrived on loans with obligations to buy, but they should have no issue paying that sum for a player of this quality.
It’s unlikely that his wage demands would be outside their structure either.
Affordability Rating – 2/2
Nice have made an excellent start to the season, sitting second in the Ligue 1 table and holding the best defensive record in Europe. It’s likely they would prefer to keep the player until next summer but given Sir Jim Ratcliffe is in the midst of buying a stake in Manchester United, it would appear that Nice are no longer the priority of Ineos and if they get the opportunity to cash in one of their stars they might well take it. Spurs would need to move early in the window though, to give Nice the opportunity to secure a replacement for their defensive lynchpin.
Availability Rating – 1/2
Overall this rumour scores a 9/10 with the only question mark being over Nice’s willingness to sell in January. They know Todibo will move on eventually but they may try to hang on to him until the summer and try to secure Champions League football on the French Riviera next season.