One area in which Tottenham Hotspur must improve in January if they are to launch a sustained bid for Champions League qualification and Europa League glory is the left-back position.
At the moment the club have Danny Rose as their main left-back, with Benoit Assou-Ekotto out on-loan at QPR.
They have Jan Vertonghen who can cover in that position. However the Belgian is clearly becoming frustrated at playing in that role for the club and is needed at the heart of defence.
Then there is Kyle Naughton and Zeki Fryers - but both would be out of position or out of their depth respectively.
So a left-back is certainly something Tim Sherwood will be hoping Franco Baldini provides him with.
One option mooted in the summer would have seen Baldini dipping his toe into his national talent pool in the form of Domenico Criscito.
The Italian international is currently playing with Zenit St Petersburg in Russia, but feels his chances of going to the World Cup in Brazil next summer would greatly improve if he was back playing on the continent.
The player returned from a six month lay-off with a cruciate ligament rupture at the start of the campaign and was linked with a €15 million move to Fiorentina.
So could Spurs revisit this possibility?
Criscito has recently regained his spot in the Zenit first-team but that has not stopped his agent stirring the transfer pot.
Andrea D’Amico was talking up a potential transfer whilst also assuring Zenit his client was happy at the same time - the sort of double-edged remark only a football agent can get away with.
However if Spurs were hoping to sign him, they will be disappointed - as the agent seems to have designs on winning Criscito a specific move - to Rafa Benitez’s Napoli.
“It is still early to talk about Criscito joining Napoli, because he has been told by Spalletti that he has some important characteristics…he is a player who has of course always liked Napoli...For now, though, the player is happy and well at Zenit. We shall see what happens over the next few days.”
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