On the face of it, the appointment of a new chief scout is unlikely to hog many headlines. Yet, if Steve Hitchen can replicate the influence of his first spell at White Hart Lane, his work could still find its way onto the back pages.
Sky Sports report that Tottenham are set to appoint Hitchen as chief scout, marking a return to North London for a man who played a major behind-the-scenes role in Spurs’ rejuvenation under Harry Redknapp.
After all, Hitchen, who worked at Derby, QPR and helped bring Luis Suarez to Liverpool, is widely credited with bringing Luka Modric to Tottenham’s attention all the way back in 2008. As reported by the BBC, Spurs beat off strong interest from Newcastle to secure the talented young Croatian playmaker for £15.8 million.
Nine years on, you know the story; few dream team XIs would not be complete without Modric pulling the strings.
Almost a decade later, however, could Hitchen repeat the trick and aid Tottenham’s desire to sign Modric’s long-term successor?
Squawka reported in November that Spurs were preparing to offer £15 million for Dinamo Zagreb’s teenage wonderkid Ante Coric in a deal spookily similar to the one that brought his international ancestor to White Hart Lane.
Yet, the 19-year-old, one of the most sought after young players in world football, has proved elusive so far. Squawka add that he turned down Manchester City because Pep Guardiola planned to loan him out. The Daily Star also claim he turned down Liverpool because of the lack of Champions League football.
But, if Coric wants to follow in Modric’s footsteps and become one of the world’s best, he could do worse than to mirror the Real Madrid star’s journey. And, with Hitchen on board, Spurs’ chances of repeating the trick certainly haven’t decreased.
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