Tottenham Hotspur have again been linked with the Belgian midfielder.
According to a recent report from Italian website Calcio Mercato, Tottenham Hotspur lead the race to sign Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel, with the player himself preferring a move to England over one to Italy.
But given Tottenham’s progress under Mauricio Pochettino and the emergence of their next generation, do they really need him?
It is a trick question to answer, because for all Spurs’ blossoming youth they will ultimately need experienced players to navigate the tricky waters ahead, not least the Champions League if and when they get there.
But in Eric Dier, Tottenham have a defensive midfielder who is showing all the traits necessary to be a future superstar in that position, while any move for Witsel will surely mark the end of Nabil Bentaleb’s time at White Hart Lane.
Already the Algerian will struggle to get in ahead of Dier and Dele Alli, and Witsel’s arrival would only make that battle considerably harder.
It has been proved that you can win things with kids, and this Tottenham side should be allowed to grow – and ultimately succeed – together. But if 26-year-old Witsel did sign for Spurs either this January or in the summer, he would arguably be arriving in his prime and could teach Dier a thing or two in the process.
That is the conundrum Tottenham now face; in signing more experienced stars, they could be hindering the development of their own future greats.