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Tottenham: Why Keita Baldé Diao would be a fantastic signing for Spurs

With a deal reportedly agreed, Tottenham fans should be excited at the possible arrival of the Lazio winger.


Recent reports have claimed a deal between Lazio and Tottenham for Spanish-born Senegalese left-winger Keita Baldé Diao has been reached, with personal terms now having to be negotiated.



A product of Barcelona’s famed youth academy, he was sent out on loan at the age of 15 as punishment for putting an ice cube into the bed of a teammate. After a highly successful spell for the club, he rejected a return to Barcelona, instead signing for Lazio in 2011 for a meagre €300,000.

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Fast forward to today, and Keita is considered one of the hottest prospects in the Serie A. He raised his game to new heights last season and has attracted interest from a number of top sides, with his move away seemingly imminent.

Keita was left out of the Lazio squad for the Italian Super Cup in what is quickly turning into a very sour relationship between club and player. Roberto Callenda, Keita’s agent, has recently come out and said that the club have broken many promises to the player, including promising to offer a “top player” contract as well as a guaranteed starting spot.

With the interest surrounding him and the rocky relationship with the club, it seems certain the 22-year-old will leave. So why should Spurs make him a priority target this summer?

The type of player Spurs don’t have

It is very difficult to find weaknesses in Tottenham’s starting eleven, which is certainly one of the best in the league. However, one criticism levelled at the Spurs lineup is a lack of pace, particularly in the forward positions.

The likes of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min are all highly gifted technical players, and finding players with better vision and ball control is not an easy task. However, they are not the type of player to take on opposition defenders, or to outpace and run directly at an opponent’s back line.

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In fact, this has already held them back early this season. Against Newcastle, Spurs were slow and laboured in the first half, giving The Toons plenty of time to regain their defensive shape. It took a red card to open the game up, but Spurs were too easy to defend against.

Keita offers something different. He is extremely quick and has also displayed fantastic dribbling ability throughout his career. He is a nightmare to defend against in one-on-one situations and thrives on isolating defenders before they can slot back into a defensive shape.

Even if Keita doesn’t slot straight into the first team at Spurs, he will offer a game-changing option off the bench, the role that Moussa Sissoko currently occupies. The difference is that Keita actually has the ability to change a game, and certainly will.

Clinical finisher

One aspect of Keita’s game that has improved massively in the last season has been his end product, something which he severely lacked in prior seasons. Under Simone Inzaghi’s tutelage, he scored an impressive 16 goals in the Serie A over the last season, as well as chipping in with five assists.

This would be a huge bonus for Pochettino’s side. Firstly, it will add another goal-scorer to the team. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, is that Keita has played as a striker for Lazio.

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Considering that Vincent Janssen has failed to impress and Spurs fans panic somewhat when Kane misses a portion of the season to injury, Keita is a perfect signing. When Kane is fit, he can play in his natural left-wing position and not sit on the bench as Janssen does. When Kane is injured or simply needs a rest, fans can breathe easier knowing they have a capable replacement in Keita Baldé Diao.

Won’t be (too) expensive

Many people might be wondering, if Keita is such a talented player, why are Lazio letting him go for a relatively low price of the reported £27 million?

Lazio’s hand has been somewhat forced. As mentioned earlier, the hostile relationship quickly forming between club and player means that Keita seems to no longer wish to play for the Biancocelesti. Most importantly, however, is that Keita’s contract runs out at the end of this season.

Lazio have to cut their losses and sell for less than they would if he was tied down to a longer deal.

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One would only have to look at the transfer saga developing with Riyad Mahrez to see the value of the Keita deal, with Leicester City reportedly holding out for £50-£60 million for a player coming off the back of a disappointing season, who is also 4 years older than the Lazio winger. When compared to this, £27 million seems a bargain.

Spurs need to make sure they act fast. A deal seems to be coming along nicely, but they need to make sure they agree terms with the player quickly. No doubt these negotiations will attract other Premier League clubs, and Spurs fans do not need to
be reminded of the debacle between a certain Brazilian winger they tried to sign and another London-based club.

Act fast, Tottenham Hotspur, and you could have a real star on your hands.

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Daniel Korolev

A student living in Ireland, born in Russia. Big fan of the Premier League and Everton FC, these are my two main topics. Also write about the Serie A occasionally.

  • Number1

    I’m not so sure of him, he doesn’t seem as clinical in his finishing.
    Last seasons tally might be a one off and a lot of his goals seemed like scuffed shots that went in and not as clinical, anyway son scored more and plays on the left and takes players on, so what’s the point.

    • Daniel Korolev

      I don’t really think you can score 16 goals and not have good finishing ability. If you look at videos of his goals last season, some of his finishing was exceptional. It has certainly been a weakness of his in the past, but under Inzaghi last season he massively improved in this regard. If anyone can get the best out of a young player it’s Pochettino.
      Son is the most direct, pacey winger that Spurs have in the first team, but Keita is on another level in that sense. His pace is just explosive, and he could really help to unlock teams that just sit deep against Spurs, as they will this season. Besides, just because Spurs have one winger who can somewhat do what Keita does, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have squad depth. They will be playing a lot of games this season, they’re going to need competition for places and rotation options at least.

      • Number1

        Your missing the point! He’s no better than Son who scored more and plays same position.

        • Daniel Korolev

          Again as I already mentioned, he offers more speed and mobility than Son, something that Spurs still do lack at times. Also, Keita had a better minutes per goal ratio than Son last season. To say Keita isn’t worth it because Son scored more goals is unfair, Son plays for a high-scoring Tottenham side.
          Also I’ll say it again, Spurs need squad depth. Relying on Son as the only proper winger is dangerous considering the number of competitions Spurs are in. They need a bigger squad, and Keita would be a fantastic option either off the bench or to replace Son in some games. Add to that the fact that he can fill in for Kane up front as well, and you have quite an exciting, useful player.

          • Number1

            No he doesn’t! Son can play anywhere across the three and score with both feet.
            Secondly one thing I guaranteed I know more about than you, that is Tottenham!
            Right down to the managers thought process, team selection And transfers and literally the soul of the club.
            Your just as like others jumping on bandwagon pretending you know bout spurs and what they need, when it’s more what you need
            We don’t need keita!
            We already have an adequate replacement, might not be as quick but just as effective.
            My proof will be when you’ll see there’s no transfer him just same old rumours from unreliable tabloids and bloggers who think they know Tottenham but really don’t. The way you and others make it sound is like we need a whole new squad when we just need a few in certain places, we already have a big enough squad and as I and pochettino says, is that we only need maybe three outfield Players.
            We don’t need to buy Willy nilly just for the sake of it.

          • Daniel Korolev

            I’m not assuming that I know more about Tottenham than you. However, I know that Son is not a typical pacey winger, he’s more technically gifted than rapid. And I know that Keita would offer a different style of play, that’s just the type of player he is. Just because they are both wingers, it doesn’t mean they are the same type of player.
            Son has been an adequate replacement for Kane when he’s injured, but when Son plays up front Spurs have no left wingers to play. Tell me, who do Spurs play if Son gets injured? There is no depth out wide.
            I have never said Spurs need a new squad, I think you are seeing criticism when there isn’t any. I already said how I think they have one of if not the best squad in the league. However, no team in the world is perfect, every team can improve. There is no denying Spurs’ squad needs more depth. Sissoko is not good enough, and yet Pochettino turns to him off the bench regularly. Keita is certainly a better player.
            Also, every signing not coming from the Premier League is a risk. Yes, Janssen and Soldado didn’t do well for Spurs despite playing well for the team they came from. But that argument makes no sense. Don’t sign Keita because he could be bad? Ignore the fact he scored 16 goals because it could be a one-off? Then Spurs shouldn’t sign anyone, because everyone could be a risk.
            £27 million for a young player with great potential is not expensive. Spurs have spent £40 million on a young centre-back. You’re not going to find many better players than Keita for less than the £27 million price tag.

          • Number1

            My points has already been proven as Tottenham don’t want him!
            And my point about son is that he was bought to do the job that he’s doing now, keita maybe quicker but son is just as effective! Which predominantly bought to play along front three at score like he has done.
            He scores, works hard and creates, exactly what Pochettino wanted from him.
            For me there’s better players in his position that would suit Spurs better and at a cheaper rate, but different attributes as a forward which would be more effective and totally different to what we have now.
            I was not implying anything other than your article on keita and Spurs ‘s need for him from your perspective! Nothing else.
            I’m not wasting energy trying to explain by text what I actually mean, not what your assuming, because we all know by text people can misconstrued.
            As I said Pochettino me and Spurs know more about what we need and what we’ll go for and keita certainly won’t be one of them as you’ll see when we don’t go in for him, the proof will be in the pudding.

  • john yorke

    I would sign him today if possible,without rose & walker we have no pace at all up front.We would have beat burnley today with a fast direct winger.Where was son today,16 goals score in italian league is not easy.If Son is first choice,would he play in the league,league cup,fa cup,champions league with no backup ,Keita could play to rest Son or visa versa.We will not finish in the top 4 without that pace.The way it is going i think we will struggle to get into the top 6.I have seen chelsea and liverpool both miss the top 6 in previous seasons,they have regrouped and came back stronger and we can start in our new ground and really push the teams with european commitments.

Tottenham: Why Keita Baldé Diao would be a fantastic signing for Spurs

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