It looks like the club are targeting another young centre back, according to reports in Germany. Fresh of the back of links to Leverkusen`s Jonathan Tah, Bild are now reporting that we sent scouts to watch Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard last week.
The Frenchman played the full ninety minutes in the 3-2 win over Cologne last Sunday and has been a regular for the Bundesliga club for the last two seasons since his arrival from Lille.
At 21 years of age, he certainly isn`t the most experienced centre half, and was actually playing in Bundesliga 2 last season when helping Stuttgart regain their top flight status.
He has also impressed during his first season in the Bundesliga. His team currently lie ninth in the table and have the third best defensive record in the league behind Bayern and Eintracht Frankfurt, which is extremely impressive.
The player himself has also opened the door to a move in the summer despite only having recently signed a contract extension until 2021:
‘My main focus now is to make sure that we stay up. But I will take another look at how things are in the summer.’
Like I have said about our interest in Tah, signing potential is all well and good, but we will need more experience in the backline if Toby does depart. Looking at Pavard`s career to date, he really only has had two seasons of top division football to his name. This year with Stuttgart, and in the 15/16 season when he was still playing in France.
Of course, you shouldn`t judge players by their game time alone, with ability certainly a key consideration as well, but if we are going to go far in the Champions League we must have more players with experience in European competitions.
This lad is certainly very promising, and is very highly rated considering France manager Didier Deschamps has already given him two senior caps, but if we are going to take that next step, both in domestic and continental competitions, we are going need established talent.
Certainly, if we learn from the Juve loss, and keep our best starting XI together, we will be stronger next season, but with doubts over a few of our senior players` futures, like Toby, I would hope the scouts would be looking at a different level of player than the likes of Tah and Pavard. We will have to wait until the summer to see our true intent.