The France international is on the verge of becoming the north London side’s fourth summer signing, but where does he fit in at White Hart Lane?
Tottenham are reported to be the frontrunners for talented Toulouse man Etienne Capoue, who is thought to be close to joining the north London side. The Ligue 1 club’s president Oliver Sadran has stated that the star is being courted by Andre Villas-Boas’ men, and that Spurs are in the driving seat for the star’s signature.
Capoue is 25-years old, with six years of senior football with Toulouse under his belt. He is deployed predominantly as a defensive midfielder, but his versatility has also seen him used as a centre-half. He has represented his nation at under-18,19 and 21 levels, and has stepped out for the senior France side five times since making his debut last year, scoring once.
Initially Capoue looks like an ideal signing for Tottenham – a player entering into the best years of his career with international experience. His versatility will be the main strength that Villas-Boas sees in him, as Spurs look to shore up their rearguard ahead of the new campaign.
With Steven Caulker allowed to leave to join newly promoted Cardiff City, and injury concerns over Younes Kaboul and Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham need a new centre-half before the start of the season in two weeks. Although Capoue has predominantly played his football in midfield, his physical qualities of pace, stature and strength mean that he has converted into a central defender with effectiveness in the past for Toulouse.
When Spurs get the bulk of their players fit however, it will be interesting to see where Capoue would fit into the equation. The player would prefer to play in midfield, but the White Hart Lane outfit have quality in abundance in the centre of the park. With Sandro, Mousa Dembele and Paulinho likely to form an impressive three-man midfield, Capoue will need to be at his best to get a game in his preferred position.
His signing could well mark the end of the line for Scott Parker and Tom Huddlestone, as competition for places at White Hart Lane heats up. The pair are likely to be on the fringes anyway, but another international central midfielder in the squad will mean opportunities for the duo will come sparingly.
All-in-all, Capoue’s addition would be another positive sign that Tottenham will be serious top-four challengers next season, whether Gareth Bale leaves or not. His ability to slot into the back four and challenge the likes of Sandro for a place in the side’s midfield will give Andre Villas-Boas more quality options in the defensive half of his team.
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