Tottenham should make a bold move for Javier Mascherano
It’s very clear that Tottenham are in the market for another centre back this summer. Most of the speculation has centered around young, English options. Spurs should throw Europe a curve ball and swoop for Barcelona star Javier Mascherano instead.
As it happens, the Argentine legend is expected to be made available this summer. Most of the speculation around Mascherano’s departure links him with a big money move to China. Tottenham could certainly emerge as strong contenders for his services.
Remember, Mascherano isn’t completely unfamiliar with the Premier League. He played briefly at Liverpool prior to moving to La Liga. It’s not impossible to believe he’d want to finish his playing career where he once rose to prominence.
Spurs would provide him an excellent opportunity to age gracefully. In fact, Pochettino’s decision to transition the squad to a back three could provide Mascherano with a perfect opportunity to prolong his career. He wouldn’t necessarily play every week for Spurs, but he could easily emerge as a key member of Pochettino’s starting XI.
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Imagine, if you will, a back three consisting of Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Mascherano. In that lineup, the Barcelona star’s ability to deftly distribute the ball from the back would be put to maximum use. He could literally be a centre back who unlocks opposing defenses with his skillful passing ability
His physical shortcomings would also be minimized in that lineup. Vertonghen and Alderweireld could handle the majority of the heavy lifting from the defensive point of view. Even better, talented wing backs like Danny Rose and Kyle Walker could help cover for Mascherano’s lack of foot speed. The problems that currently plague him at Barcelona would be all but eliminated by Tottenham’s preferred formation.
I do realize, that seeing Javier Mascherano in a Tottenham shirt is an extreme longshot. The allure of Chinese money will likely be too much for both Barcelona and the player. Acquiring a 32-year-old centre back would also run directly opposite the club’s usual transfer policy of purchasing young talent.
Even so, if Tottenham want to really go for glory this summer, they’ll need to be very bold in the transfer window. Making them move to sign Javier Mascherano away from Barcelona would certainly qualify.