Tottenham Hotspur are all set to complete the signing of Argentine defender and Sevilla stalwart Federico Fazio in a transfer reportedly worth £8 million.
The move represents good business for the Lilywhites, with Michael Dawson departing White Hart Lane for Hull in a similar deal worth £6 million.
There’s history with Diego Costa
The arrival of Federico Fazio could add an extra edge to the already highly-charged London derby encounters with Chelsea this season, given the defender’s previous with Diego Costa.
The pair were embroiled in an ugly on-pitch spat last season which saw the ex-Atletico man push Fazio in the face, with the Argentine responding by punching Costa in the stomach. With the referee failing to spot the clash between the two, don’t be surprised to see that rivalry renewed this term.
Fazio can be lethal in the air
While defender’s are traditionally taller than the average footballer, at 6ft 5in the Argentine will be among the tallest in the Premier League and could prove to be a major asset from set pieces for Tottenham, who have lacked an effective goalscoring defender with aerial presence of late.
Fazio could be just that, having developed a knack for scoring important goals during his eight-season stay with Sevilla in Spain. Heading also appears to be his forte, as this well-take goal against Malaga, and future Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero, attests.
He can also defend with his head
Goalscoring is one thing, but as plenty of teams in the Premier League have learned in the past, it’s all well and good possessing aerial threat, but it’s another challenge to defend well in the air.
Fortunately for Spurs, Fazio can do just that and we’ve got the stats to prove it. Last season alone, the Argentine won 120 headers at a rate of 4.4 per game in La Liga. In comparison, Jan Vertonghen fared the best in this respect out of any Tottenham defender, but managed to win just 57 headers at a rate of 2.5 per game.
Fazio was ear-marked for the big-time
The Argentine may have only picked up two caps for the Albiceleste senior side to date, but as a youngster he was widely regarded as one of the brightest young prospects to come out of the South American nation, having impressed as part of the team that won the under-20 World Cup in 2007.
He was even singled out as one of five players to watch for the future alongside Maximiliano Moralez, currently at Atalanta in Italy, Matias Cahais who has just moved to Club Deportivo Universidad Católica in Chile, ex-Southampton target Ever Banega and a certain Sergio Aguero.
The Argentine is a yellow card magnet
While Fazio has accrued just two red cards during his time in Spain with Sevilla, the South American stopper has been known to pick up the occasional yellow card, when the situation requires it. Last season was a particular high point , with eight yellow cards in 27 league appearances at a rate of virtually one every three games.
He even managed to get booked in Sevilla’s Europa League final victory over Benfica and with La Liga referees seen as more lenient than their Premier League counterparts, don’t be surprised to see Fazio, who can occasionally make a rash tackle, having a fair few conversations with the officials.