Following their summer splurge, Tottenham Hotspur fans might have expected their club to cool their boots in the January transfer window, but rumours already abound that Spurs will try and sign Fabio Coentrao.
Andre Villas-Boas is clearly a fan of his compatriot, perhaps fancying the extra quality at left-back will boost his team’s chance of claiming a top four place, a feat they are currently 6/4 to achieve.
Coentrao’s arrival will allow Jan Vertonghen to move back into the middle, assuaging any doubts about his future at the club.
With Danny Rose injured, Vertonghen is the clear pick at left-back for Spurs due to their lack of options, but the Belgian has grumbled about playing in the position before.
The debonair defender opted for the white half of north London last summer due to Arsenal’s plans to play him in midfield, and could well up his sticks again if he continues to be shunted onto the flanks.
Vertonghen made the PFA Team of the Year last season as a centre-back and Spurs should be aiming to get him back into that role permanently.
With Rose in the side, Spurs average 14.75 shots a game in the league, in their last five matches without him, that has dropped to 10.6.
Villas-Boas’ preferred system this campaign has utilised inverted wingers on both flanks of his attack, meaning that having marauding full-backs is vital to ensuring his team have enough width.
Rose has yet to truly convince everyone that he is the long-term answer at left-back for Spurs, but his forays down the flank were key to their play in the first few games of the season.
Coentrao is a cut above the Englishman in terms of his attacking nous, and would give the croaky Portuguese manager two bona fide options at left-back.
Despite being only 25, Coentrao has 41 caps for Portugal, along with a wealth of Champions League experience that Rose does not command.
It is a tad harsh to compare the Lilywhites current left-back with an established star like Coentrao, but given the way Spurs have overhauled their squad of late the Real Madrid player fits the bill far more than the pint-sized player currently on their books.
The Portuguese might have fallen out of favour at the Bernabeu but he will be going to the World Cup as his country’s first option and it would be a major coup for the north London club if they could convince him to swap the bright lights of Madrid for Haringey.