Tottenham should be focusing their attention on signing Matthijs de Ligt this summer, even if it means loaning him back to Ajax

Matthijs de Ligt

Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with plenty of centre-backs but the 17-year-old is an ideal long-term investment.

Matthijs de Ligt

Tottenham Hotspur fans must already be getting sick of the transfer rumours, with centre-backs Alfie Mawson (the Sun) and Chris Smalling (the Daily Mail) the latest in an increasingly long line of players to be linked with a move to Spurs this summer.

But Tottenham should be focusing on one player and one player only in that position - Ajax sensation Matthijs de Ligt.

Given Tottenham's current defensive options, their manager Mauricio Pochettino does not need another experienced centre-back.

Swansea City's Lukasz Fabianski collects the ball from Alfie Mawson and Watford's Valon BehramiMawson would be a good signing for Spurs but de Ligt could be better

After all, he already has arguably the best defensive pairing in the country in the form of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, while Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kevin Wimmer can also step in when required, although doubts remain over the latter's future.

If Pochettino is aiming to switch long-term to three centre-backs then another signing is important, but de Light is the archetypal Tottenham signing; one of the most exciting teenage defenders in Europe who would surely jump at the chance to learn alongside two former Ajax graduates Vertonghen and Alderweireld.

De Ligt may only be 17 but he showed his class in the Europa League final, thwarting Manchester United's attacks time and again and putting in a performance that belied his age.

While he ended up on the losing side, his reputation sky-rocketed over those 90 minutes and, with a contract that expires in 2019, expect him to be the subject of intense speculation both this summer and next.

Tottenham are a club that already looks towards the future and while they have one promising young defender in Carter-Vickers, they would do well to partner him with de Ligt.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy could even potentially sweeten the deal by agreeing to loan de Ligt immediately back to Ajax for another year, to ensure he continues his development in familiar surroundings and gets more regular game time.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch