It is clear that nothing is going to be simple in this transfer window for Tottenham Hotspur, whose fans will have at least assumed at the start of the summer that they would not need to worry about their centre backs given that they had four fine options in their squad.
However an injury to Jan Vertonghen, fears over Younes Kaboul’s fitness after a year out and suddenly, almost out of nowhere, Steven Caulker’s £8million departure for Cardiff City have left them scrambling to find one or two new defenders.
They have been linked with a move for Steaua Bucharest’s Vlad Chiriches, and could still sign the defender despite the best intentions of the Romanian club’s jailbird owner Gigi Becali.
But they could also look to their youth sides for extra cover, and among their ranks Milos Veljkovic has stood out as someone with real potential to break into the Spurs senior side one day.
A ball-playing, skillful defender, Veljkovic has been compared to Vertonghen already, and given that Chiriches also has a reputation as a technically adept player, the youngster fits the profile of what the club are looking for.
The Serbian joined Spurs from Basel in 2011, and despite his youth has already played for the Under-21 and NextGen sides, along with representing his country at U17, U18 and U19 level.
Veljkovic is good enough on the ball to play a midfield role, and he did so regularly last season, but his preferred position is in the heart of defence, and he has the strength and tenacity to go along with his ball-playing ability.
Even if Spurs sign a player like Chiriches, Veljkovic could be in line for some appearances for the senior side in the coming season, with Spurs’ injury problems last season demonstrating the value of having five centre-backs available for the first team.
With Andre Villas-Boas no doubt intent on making the later stages of the Europa League once again, Spurs will be playing plenty of games next year, and Veljkovic might be the next youngster in line for a call up to the senior side.
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