Extending Euro 2016 to 24 teams hasn’t just given smaller nations the chance to compete at a major tournament. It has put the better performers of those sides in the shop window, catching the eye of clubs that may not have necessarily noticed before.
News that Tottenham are considering a move for Iceland’s defensive hero Ragnar Sigurdsson is a perfect example of that.
The 60-cap international, who was key to the minnows’ superb surprise victory over England in the competition’s round of 16, currently plays in Russia for Krasnador.
He was awarded man-of-the-match honours against the Three Lions, after netting the equaliser and holding firm at the heart of defence as Roy Hodgson’s men tried to mount a comeback.
His displays in France, where he has led his side with 11 interceptions and 34 clearances, have caught the eye of a number of European clubs. Spurs are just one of them.
Along with the north Londoners, Leicester and Liverpool are rumoured suitors for the 30-year-old, while Bundesliga duo Wolfsburg and Schalke have also reportedly made inquiries about Sigurdsson’s availability.
It would appear that Spurs have the biggest need for the Icelander’s services. Eric Dier is now fully transformed into a holding midfielder, which leaves only Kevin Wimmer to deputise for first-choice pairing Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
Although signing a 30-year-old may appear at odds with Mauricio Pochettino’s preferred transfer policy, there can be few more cost-effective options for drafting in a squad filler than the £4m-rated Sigurdsson.
One of those cost-effective methods may be to promote from the club’s academy. But with Spurs already boasting one of the youngest squads in the top flight, the Argentine tactician may view the experience offered by Iceland’s defensive lynchpin as a better bet, especially with the Champions League on the horizon.
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