Great start for £5.9m 'Bulgarian Bale' Tottenham summer target at new club

Todor Nedelev has had a great start to his career with Mainz in Germany. Perhaps Spurs should have bought him for much less than flop Lamela?

In the summer a previously unknown young Bulgarian was doing the rounds across media outlets on the continent - and in England it was no different.

His name is Todor Nedelev. A left-footed winger, with pace to burn, an incredible delivery and a propensity to smash in a strike from long range - he was soon dubbed the ‘Bulgarian Gareth Bale’.

And Tottenham could have snapped him up.

The main reports suggested that Spurs were the team at the front of the queue for his services - with reports of an imminent deal worth in the region of £5.87 million.

And just a couple of days later the Botev Plovdiv winger, who had recently made his debut for the Bulgarian national team, was being linked with Arsenal as well.

Reports in Italy suggested that The Gunners were impressed with what they saw from the player in scouting missions, and were ready to make a move to beat Spurs to this talent.

But in the end it came to nothing when Nedelev signed a five-year-deal with Bundesliga outfit FSV Mainz 05 for an undisclosed fee.

The deal however would see him spend the next six months at Plovdiv - and he only joined up with his new club last week.

The player, who topped the assists charts in Bulgaria last season, has been involved in Mainz’s winter-break training camp in Marbella - and has immediately looked impressive.

He made his debut for the club in a 1-1 draw against KV Oostende on Tuesday, and yesterday was in action against NEC Nijmegen.

It was this performance that has seen him praised by his boss Thomas Tuchel. Nedelev was instrumental in the finale of the game. His free kick was saved by the NEC keeper before Yunus Malli tucked away the rebound.

He then threaded a delightful through ball into the path of Tobias Schilik who plotted the ball onto the head of Malli for his second - and Mainz’s winning third in a 3-2 win.

After the game Tuchel was full of praise for the 20-year-old winger:

"Todor has his qualities near the goal and a good finish. He grabs of course the balls from free-kicks and corners."

Nedelev looks like a snip for Mainz - a tremendous talent who looks destined for great things in the Bundesliga.

And when you consider that Nedelev likely cost over £20 million less than Erik Lamela - it seems a bargain that Spurs should have gone for in the summer.

image: © StartAgain

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