The £7m signing of Belgian international winger Nacer Chadli from Dutch Eredivisie side FC Twente has been met with mixed reactions. The optimists see the capture of a versatile winger able to help Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon as a long overdue, but welcome addition to the squad. Whilst the pessimists fear that the signing of a winger could be the first step towards relinquishing control of their prized asset, Gareth Bale.
The future of Bale is however still undecided and if he remains at Tottenham it is likely that the Welshman will now be able to flourish in a role which allows far more freedom;; in a similar way to how Messi and Ronaldo are allowed to swagger around the pitch for Barca and Real Madrid respectively.
The key to allowing Bale this freedom are the signings of Paulinho and Chadli specifically, a player prepared to play on either wing or behind the striker which is sure to make Spurs a more fluid team next season
Simply signing an attacking player able to play on either wing is a positive for Spurs as it’s something they have been lacking since Modric left, who even so, was far less effective on the wing than in the middle of the field.
As well as providing the Spurs squad with a player that is much needed, Nacer Chadli arrives off the back of a successful spell in the Eredivisie and glittering recommendations from Belgian football experts such as John Chapman who states that we can expect Chadli to play “a major role for both club and country” (Source: BelgoFoot)
Chadli is highly rated by those that follow Twente and Dutch football and should have little trouble adapting to his new team and league. The Belgian joins fellow countrymen Moussa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen at Tottenham, he is versatile so will get minutes on the pitch and boasts a powerful 6’2” frame which will handle the rigours of the English game with ease.
There are a couple of factors to be wary about regarding Chadli such as his injury record, which has prevented him from playing regularly for the past two seasons, amassing only 31 games in the league during this period. There is also the fact that this is a player coming from the Eredivisie to the Premier League, a path which has had some notorious failures in the past.
A prime example is Afonso Alves at Middlesbrough who scored 45 goals in 39 games for Heerenveen, but was unable to continue this in England, scoring only 10 in 42 games and being sold after two seasons at a huge loss to Boro. Recently this failure to adapt has become less common though, with Vertonghen, Suarez and Vermaelen all shining examples of quality purchases from Holland.
If Tottenham can keep Chadli fit and integrate him into the group at Tottenham he will be a useful addition, and even if it does not work out for the club or player it will not be a disaster due to the small outlay the signing required. Overall this is a smart signing who – along with Andros Townsend – will finally solve the issue of a lack of genuine wingers able to deputise for Lennon or Bale when required.
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