Wandering Juventus striker not a good fit for Spurs’ future

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Bar a complete catastrophe Tottenham can indulge in some planning for Champions League football next season.

Eight points ahead of fifth-place West Ham with 12 games to go, the north Londoners would have to outdo even their own high choking standards slip out of the top four now.

With a return to the top table of European football looking assured, the transfer bods at White Hart Lane must start scouring the market to find a new striker to add to the squad this summer.

So far this term, Spurs have managed to do without a natural understudy to Harry Kane by asking one of Nacer Chadli, Son Heung-Min or Erik Lamela to lead the line in his place.

However, with the heightened quality of the Champions League on the horizon, Mauricio Pochettino will need a dedicated front man to lighten the load on Kane.

According to recent reports, Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic is catching the Lilywhites’ eye. Links to a player of that standard – the 29-year-old has played for some of the elite clubs in Germany, Spain and Italy – is a testament to how far Spurs have progressed, but that’s all.

The 63-cap international wouldn’t be a great signing for Spurs for a number of reasons. The first is his growing habit of roaming from club to club.

Since leaving Dinamo Zagreb in the summer of 2010, Mandzukic has never spent more than two seasons at a side, which doesn’t quite align with the long-term planning Spurs have become accustomed to.

At 29, the striker is also likely too old to fit into Pochettino’s preferred profile of signing and, coupled with Mandzukic’s short-termism, makes him an unattractive proposition.

Then there’s the Juventus star’s style of play, which while loosely similar to that of Kane, isn’t quite as dynamic.

Capable of playing with his back to goal and holding the ball up, Mandzukic would allow the likes of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli to run beyond him, but he rarely drifts around the pitch as much as the England international.

Spurs’ front four tend to interchange throughout the course of a match. Mandzukic’s presence would stunt that ability greatly, unless he’s used as a Plan B target-man option off the bench, which is unlikely to appease him.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.