With injuries and inopportune outgoings leaving Tottenham Hotspur short of a defender or two, the London club are reportedly casting their net wide over Europe as they try to sign a new centre-back.
Sporting Lisbon’s Tiago Ilori and Steaua Bucharest’s Vlad Chiriches have both been linked with a move to White Hart Lane, but which of the two defenders would be a better target for Spurs this summer?
At 23, Chiriches is the elder of the pair by three years, and has much more first team experience as a result. A regular for Steaua and Romania, Chiriches has established himself as an exciting young ball-playing centre back, and has drawn interest from AC Milan and Roma as well as Spurs.
Ilori has less first experience, but the 20-year-old has impressed when he has played for Sporting, and shone at the Under-20 World Cup this summer, with Liverpool also in the hunt for his signature.
Both players are quick and strong, but Ilori is perhaps has the edge in terms of physicality. At 6ft3in he is taller than Chiriches, and the Portuguese youngster is so fast he apparently bettered Cristiano Ronaldo’s sprint times at the Sporting academy.
The pair are also both notable for their ability on the ball, something that has become increasingly important for the modern centre-back. Chiriches is impressive bursting out of defence with the ball at his feet, and is similar to David Luiz is in his ability to score impressive long range efforts.
Ilori too is comfortable on the ball, and has an impressive range of passing. Both might get caught out occasionally, but it is easy to see why Spurs would be keen to have either as a back-up for Jan Vertonghen, who was superb going forward as well as defensively last year.
Both players are reportedly available for around £6-8million, with Ilori set to leave after he refused to sign a new contract at Sporting. Chiriches had looked close to agreeing a deal with Spurs last week, but Steaua’s eccentric owner Gigi Becali blocked the move from his jail cell after being affronted by the Premier League side.
Assuming that deal can be resurrected, then Chiriches might be able to offer more than Illori straight away, but the Sporting player could have a higher ceiling than the Romanian. Both would be fine signings, and maybe Spurs should consider signing both, but Ilori could prove a masterstroke if brought in this summer.
Spurs fans, who would you rather see at White Hart Lane, Ilori or Chiriches?
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