11 clearances, 1 goal: Spurs-linked defender puts in match-winning performance

Torino FC Bus

Fresh from being linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur, Kamil Glik put in another match-winning performance for Torino.

Torino have had a fair few jewels in their ranks over the past two seasons, with Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci catching the eye last term as a frightening duo up front.

Both moved on over the summer for significant fees to Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid respectively, leaving the Granata to work out a new plan to take Serie A by storm.

This time it’s been a pair of wing-backs – Matteo Darmian and Bruno Peres – who have shone for the historic club, garnering interest from across Europe.

But while Darmian and Peres have captured hearts and minds with their exciting play out wide, it’s defensive rock Kamil Glik who is perhaps the side’s most key ingredient.

Having gone largely unheralded for some time, the Polish international has now popped up on the transfer radar screen, linked with a move to Tottenham this week by The Sun.

With a penchant for scoring big goals and leaving opposing strikers bruised from his physicality, the Torino captain is a favourite of the Granata faithful.

Heading into the weekend, Glik had netted seven goals across all competitions as Torino have battled into the top 10 in Serie A and fallen just short of the Europa League quarter-finals.

With Torino requiring three points away to Atalanta at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia – one of Italy’s most hostile grounds – to stay in the hunt for Europe, the stage was set for Glik.

And just days after it was reported Spurs are keeping a keen eye on the 27-year-old centre-back, he proved once again just how impactful a player he can be at both ends of the pitch.

With Torino already leading 1-0 at the time, Glik popped up at the back post to smash home his seventh league goal of the campaign with an impeccably placed, powerful half-volley.

Up 2-0 at the half, a lack of potency from Atalanta in the first 45 minutes meant Glik didn’t have too much defensive work to do. The Pole wasn’t forced into a single tackle or interception attempt.

That was to change. Atalanta came forward in greater numbers after the break in search of parity, but found breaking through difficult with Glik manning the barricades.

Coming up with nine second half clearances – for a total of 11 on the day, per Squawka – Glik’s no-nonsense attitude proved essential to Torino bringing three points home from Bergamo.

Atalanta did pull a goal back with a superb overhead kick from Mauricio Pinilla, but it was the only shot on target they’d get in the penalty area in the second stanza.

Glik’s presence neutralized La Dea’s threat from crosses – Atalanta attempted 24 in the final 45 minutes alone. Meanwhile, the Pole misplaced only one pass in the entire half, lending security in possession.

From a Tottenham perspective, Glik’s latest display should only lend confidence. During the week he admitted to Tutto Mercato Web that he is intrigued by the Premier League, though expressed a desire to remain at Torino.

Should Tottenham choose to force the issue by making an offer both Torino and Glik couldn’t refuse, they’d be doing so for a centre-back with two-way capabilities.

Torino will be wary of letting go of a player who is not only a match winner but their captain, however. And, as such, Spurs will have to decide whether they believe Glik can have a similar impact at White Hart Lane, as the stakes could well be high to pry him away.

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