Tottenham’s defensive recruitment drive looks to be at an end following the arrival of Federico Fazio from Sevilla.
The fee for the Argentine centre-half has not been disclosed, but it’s believed Spurs paid his £8m release clause to bring him to White Hart Lane, which, based on last season’s stats, looks to be something of a steal.
Standing at 6’5, the towering rearguarder was the lynchpin of Los Rojiblancos’ backline that hoisted the Europa League at the end of the previous campaign.
Unai Emery’s side were triumphant in 51 per cent of the matches in which they selected the lofty stopper compared to 38 per cent of the time without him, while their percentage of defeats was greater in his absence too.
Sevilla’s understanding of the art of clean sheet keeping was far from thorough last season, with just nine shut outs enforced in La Liga and a further five bolted on during the conquest of the continent’s consolation competition.
Just three of these, however, were mustered without Fazio holding the fort, which underpins what a figurehead he was in the Andalusian outfit’s success on the field last term.
Each league outing the 27-year-old made saw him average 7.6 clearances accompanied by means of 1.3 tackles and 3.3 interceptions.
These commendable figures, however, are not of sufficient stature to significantly outshine those of former Lilywhites skipper, Michael Dawson, whom Fazio will be replacing at the Lane.
The inbound Hull man made 1.5 tackles and 2.1 interceptions on average in his final Spurs stint and enhanced this with 7.8 clearances.
Superior in possession last term, the Englishman also boasts an 81.6 per cent pass completion rate compared to his South American counterpart’s 77 per cent.
Not blessed with any real pace and definitely not versatile, Fazio doesn’t appear to be much of an upgrade on Dawson, yet Mauricio Pochettino is of the impression that the latter lacks the ability to play for a team vying for a top-four finish.
This makes it difficult to see how the former Sevilla star can bowl over the current first-choice centre-halves, so back the 17/20 about him starting fewer than 18.5 league matches this term.