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05 Jun 2018

Tottenham target Morgan Sanson in profile

REUTERS/Philippe Laurenson

With Inter Milan continuing to circle around Mousa Dembele, and the Belgian looking increasingly set to leave north London this summer, Mauricio Pochettino is stepping up his efforts to sign a long-term successor to the uniquely talented central midfielder.

You can read RealSport's analysis of Tottenham's central midfield targets HERE.

With names such as Mateo Kovacic, Tanguy Ndombele and Mario Lemina already linked, the latest to appear on Pochettino's continental manhunt is Morgan Sanson, as per France Football.

The Marseille midfielder is currently valued at £16 million by Transfermarkt and joined the beaten Europa League finalists in the summer of 2017 for £9 million.

RealSport profile the player in light of the recent links to Tottenham.

A versatile midfielder

Sanson has the capabilities to play vertically through the midfield, either defensively, centrally or more advanced behind the striker. It was here he played a majority of his games for Marseille.

The 23-year-old, for example, scored nine goals in Ligue 1 in 2017/18, which suggests that he's more of a goal-threat than Dembele, but over half of his goals (5) came from an attacking midfield position.

REUTERS/Philippe Laurenson

With the likes of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen already competing for the spot behind Harry Kane, it's unlikely Sanson would see much game time in an advanced position.

What's salient is that Sanson is clearly a versatile midfielder, a trait highly cherished by Pochettino. The Argentine prefers when his players are capable of playing in more than one position, hence his initial interest in Sanson.

Style of play

Sanson's goal-scoring record suggests that he's a goal threat from midfield and is a competent finisher, but in a Dembele replacement, Pochettino is searching for ball retention, ball progression, press resistance and defensive work rate.

In terms of ball retention, Sanson is an able passer of the ball and can play it short, opting for the safe option and tidy one-touch lay-offs, denoted by his 83% passing accuracy. He's also very two-footed, an advantage in this position.

However, he lost the ball more often (1.8/game) than Dembele (1.2/game) and recorded more instances of poor control (2.2/game) than the Tottenham midfielder (0.9/game).