Tottenham: Aymeric Laporte could be Romero’s perfect partner

The illustrious Manchester City defender is “available” this summer…

Tottenham Hotspur are interested in Manchester City centre-half Aymeric Laporte this summer, with the French-born Spain international reportedly “available” for transfer this summer.

That’s courtesy of a recent report from 90min, which claims that while there are other clubs in the running for his signature, Spurs could look to tie up a deal to solve their defensive quandary.

The north London side shipped 63 goals in the Premier League this season, a tally bettered by every team in the top 14, which illustrates exactly where new manager Ange Postecoglou needs to prioritise as he looks to manufacture a winning mentality to return to European competition and end a 15-year trophy drought.

Laporte is valued at around £40m by the Citizens, and while he still has two years remaining on his current deal at the Etihad Stadium, limited game time has left the general consensus that he will leave for new pastures when the transfer window swings its door wide open, and Tottenham could benefit.

How good is Aymeric Laporte?
Having signed for the Sky Blues from Athletic Bilbao for £57m in 2018 – then a club-record acquisition – Laporte has chalked up 179 appearances, winning five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four Carabao Cups, with the Champions League final but a day away.

He would bring experience and aptitude to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as a defender for one of the best teams in world football for half a decade, perhaps instilling his winning mentality into an outfit desperate to clinch a slice of silverware after an interminable period without silver-laden success.

While Tottenham’s backline hasn’t been at the races this term, star centre-back Cristian Romero remains a formidable rock, albeit somewhat haphazard in his approach at times, branded “emotional” by Rio Ferdinand and “reckless” by Chris Sutton.

The robust Argentinian only featured 27 times in the Premier League this season but recorded an average Sofascore rating of 6.97 – the highest of any Spurs central defender – and completed 88% of his passes, also averaging 2.5 tackles, 3.6 clearances and 1.6 interceptions per game.

The £165k-per-week has been heralded as a “Rolls-Royce” by Martin Keown this season and is undoubtedly a sparkling prospect.

With Laporte beside him, the 25-year-old World Cup champion could finally demonstrate his full might for his club side, already ranking among the top 5% of centre-backs across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for tackles, the top 20% for interceptions and the top 17% for successful take-ons per 90, as per FBref.

An unyielding colossus with a “street-wise” attitude – as remarked by Jamie Carragher – Romero could benefit from the composure of Laporte, who has been hailed as the “best left-central defender in the world” by City manager Pep Guardiola.

Indeed, the 20-cap international ranks among the 3% of positional peers for pass completion, the top 1% for attempted passes, progressive passes and progressive carries, and the top 4% for shot-creating actions per 90, which could provide Postecoglou, who favours a “positive mentality and a fast, attacking style of play” – according to chairman Daniel Levy – with the perfect orchestrator from the heart of the defence.

Romero’s tenacious grit and Laporte’s “exceptional” talents, as praised again by Guardiola, could work seamlessly upon the City ace’s integration, and Spurs must now tie up a deal for Laporte, unleashing a dynamic new backline to cast aside the cobwebs of the 2022/23 campaign and chart a course for success unseen in what feels like a perpetual cycle of near-misses and years mired in obscurity.