Journalist Martin Lipton has called for Tottenham Hotspur to bring a creative midfielder who can take free-kicks, after expressing his surprise that Harry Kane remains on set-piece duty.
Spurs are said to be admirers of James Maddison having been linked with the midfielder in the summer.
However, no such move for the Leicester City man materialised, while the Foxes are said to have initiated talks over an improved deal for the England World Cup hopeful.
And citing Spurs’ woes from scoring direct free-kicks while speaking on the Off the Ball podcast, Lipton has urged Antonio Conte to seek a dead-ball specialist in the transfer market.
He said: “The one thing you look at Tottenham and anyone can say they lack is a real creative midfielder.
“Someone who can thread the needle and someone who can take free-kicks as well, because whilst they’re scoring a lot of goals from set pieces, direct free-kicks haven’t been a threat for quite a long time, actually.
“Kane must be unbelievable in training, because he takes them always and they never go close to the net in the match – but there you go.”
TIF Thoughts on Spurs’ search for a free-kick specialist…
Should Spurs sign Maddison in January?
Lipton isn’t alone in calling for a change to Spurs’ free-kick setup. Indeed, The Athletic’s Tim Spiers argued that Son Heung-min should be taking them, highlighting that by late September, Tottenham had only had two direct attempts from such situations – with Harry Kane and Eric Dier the unsuccessful takers.
Maddison could well be a decent candidate for free-kicks if Conte was to bring him in, with the Foxes maestro netting 10 since his switch to the King Power Stadium – including two this season alone.
Given Spurs’ apparent reluctance to hand Son this responsibility (despite the South Korean finding the net against Watford last season), it would surely be a superb bonus if a player such as Maddison was brought in to add a further threat from set pieces.
Meanwhile, we agree with Lipton’s bemusement at Spurs’ lack of prolificacy from free-kicks and what seems to be an unwillingness to solve this issue.