Prior to the opening of the summer transfer window, it was heavily speculated that Arsenal manager Unai Emery wanted to add Jean-Philippe Gbamin to the library, but now it seems that Tottenham Hotspur have also been keeping an eye on the 23-year-old.
Whilst the speculation so far has proven to be nothing when it comes to our near neighbours, the versatile defender/midfielder continues to be linked with a move away from Bundesliga side Mainz 05 and his agent has been doing his best to whip up additional interest and recently admitted that Spurs had been one of a number of English clubs he had met with.
fussballtransfers carried his words over the weekend and despite the claims of interest in his client, he seems to be suggesting quite strongly that the players versatility is counting against him here as he feels he hasn’t had the chance to impress in his preferred centre-back position and given the price Mainz want for him, that has left clubs uneasy about progressing a deal.
Bernard Collignon explained.
“I have been Jean-Philippe’s adviser since he was 15 years old. I know him very well, he would make a great career as a centre-back. He is a victim of his friendliness, he always thinks first of his teammates. He wanted to support his teammates because he can help out in many positions. At almost 24, he is an all-rounder who has no main position. As a result, unlike last season, he has fallen into oblivion. In January 2018 Klopp called Mainz and wanted to commit him as a centre-back, who also helps out in midfield. But Mainz did not want to let him go in the middle of the relegation battle. In the summer, Liverpool signed on to Fabinho. I had meetings with Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton and many other clubs. He is in the shortlist. However, not as a top candidate, because his exact position is unclear.”
The agent went on to repeat that centre-back was his natural position and he hoped Gbamin would impress there at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament so people could be more aware of his strength but having spoken about how his lack of nailing a single position down has potentially cost him on a transfer front, he then claims he’s a 60million Euro player.
There’s some element of smoke and mirrors here as clubs have vast scouting networks and particularly in this day and age I don’t believe with all the statistical analysis that goes on, any player would be hampered by an element of versatility and managers often amend a players position based on strengths they see anyway.
For the centre back role with Juan Foyth and Davinson Sanchez developing I don’t believe we’d have an interest. For the midfield role he predominantly played last season, I could, however, see him on our list as a possible Mousa Dembele option if he is more defensively minded.
But who knows at this time of year.