Over the course of this summer, we’ve seen a few of Real Madrid’s stars linked with a move to Tottenham. The main two are Gareth Bale and Dani Ceballos, but this time it’s a different profile of player that would fit the Lilywhites, with Mariano Diaz looking like a perfect Harry Kane deputy.
The Los Blancos star is reportedly not in the plans of Zinedine Zidane for the 2019/20 season, and that won’t come as a massive surprise seeing as he’ll be competing with Luka Jovic, Karim Benzema and Rodrygo for a starting role in the current set up at the Bernabeu.
However, according to The Mirror, Arsenal, Tottenham, Roma and AC Milan are all interested in the player. A separate Mirror story, and a more recent one for that matter, has claimed that Arsenal have been offered the striker for £18m, and if that’s the case then Tottenham should jump in at that price.
Last season Mariano was poor at Real Madrid, but then again so were the majority of his teammates. The Madrid giants suffered heavily, falling to Ajax in the Champions League last 16 and finishing in a meagre 3rd place, 21 points off of 1st having lost 12 games in all competitions.
Individually, the ex-Lyon man, who scored a stellar 18 goals for the French club in the 2017/18 season, could only manage three goals in 13 league games at the Bernabeu, although they came at a rate of one every 146 minutes owing to his games coming mostly off the bench, Transfermarkt.
Finding a suitable second-choice striker has been a real conundrum for Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham. Harry Kane’s record is so impressive that whenever he’s fit you cannot justify leaving him on the bench, so finding a top striker who can score in his absence yet is happy to be on the bench has proven difficult.
Vincent Janssen failed in the role horribly in the 2016/17 season, although Fernando Llorente has done a better job over the last couple of years. However, with the Spaniard now 34-years-old it looks like his time at the club has run out, as he was released back in June at the end of his contract.
What made Llorente so impressive and useful as a back-up striker was the fact that he was an effective ‘plan b’ option off the bench, winning 27 aerial duels per game, WhoScored, and his effectiveness was crucial to the Lilywhites’ Champions League campaign.
Arguably, the club’s run to the final wouldn’t have been possible without Llorente. The Spaniard assisted against PSV, scored against Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund and bullied Daley Blind in Amsterdam in the second half during that famous game.
Whilst Mariano doesn’t have the height to do that, standing at just five-foot-nine-inches tall, he has the ability to pluck a goal from nowhere, as we saw for Lyon and when he fired an unstoppable effort into the top corner against Roma in the Champions League back in September.
The striker may fancy his chances at Real Madrid, but switching Madrid for London could see him flourish, and at a price of just £18m it’s hard to see a reason why this isn’t a good move.