Tolgay Arslan could have been at the bottom of the Championship right now. According to the Northern Echo, Turkish champions Besiktas offered the midfielder to Sunderland in the summer as part of a deal to take Jeremain Lens to the Vodafone Arena.
Sunderland were not willing to entertain any cash-plus-player offers, however, meaning Lens was sold for £4.5 million while Arslan remained in Turkey. A few months on, Besiktas will be glad Sunderland decided against taking up their offer.
Arslan has been in fine form so far this season and his value has skyrocketed as a result. And the former Germany Under-21 international now has a higher standard of club tracking his progress.
Fotomac reports that Tottenham Hotspur have been impressed by Arslan’s improved displays at the heart of Besiktas’ midfield this season – and are planning a January bid of around £9 million.
Besiktas, however, would demand around £10.5 million – though such a fee is clearly within Spurs’ budget.
The 27-year-old is a real all-round midfielder, renowned for his effectiveness at either end of the pitch. Arslan is not only a combative ball winner but also an intelligent passer who carries the ball impressively in transition.
Where he would fit in at Tottenham, however, is debateable. Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino already has so many quality central midfield options at his disposal that Eric Dier has been forced to drop into defence while Moussa Dembele has lost his place in the starting XI.
Arslan, however, could provide further quality and depth in a side who aim to compete on both domestic and European fronts for the forseeable future.