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One To Watch: Veliz eyes Kane spot with Messi praise ringing in his ears
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Dan Fitch
Alejo Veliz has signed for Tottenham from Rosario Central
Alejo Veliz has signed for Tottenham from Rosario Central

Tottenham fans mourning the loss of Harry Kane will hope new signing Alejo Veliz can soften the blow. 

The Londoners completed an £18million deal with Rosario Central for the highly-rated striker earlier this week. 

With the Argentine having received praise from none other than Lionel Messi, he arrives with the highest possible endorsement. 

Ahead of Spurs' season opener against Brentford, we take a look at Veliz's achievements so far and what qualities he possesses. 

Messi praise

Earlier this year, Messi compared 19-year-old Veliz to another legendary South American forward. 

The Inter Miami star said: "Watching him play reminds me of what [Luis] Suarez used to play like. 

"I am very excited for the future of this country and hope I can be an influence to these people and talk to him." 

Veliz has yet to join Messi in Lionel Scaloni's senior Argentina squad but has made eight appearances for the Under-20s. 

He featured at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, where he scored in all three group games before Javier Mascherano's team were eliminated in the last 16. 

International recognition followed a breakout season at Rosario in which Veliz scored 11 goals in 23 appearances. 

Passionate player

Veliz has spoken about the potential comfort of having a strong Argentine connection at Spurs in the form of Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso. 

He said: "The first thing I'll be doing is to check in with them to help me to get established here and feel fully settled in. 

"The good thing is I am a pretty open and friendly type of character and I always like to get on well with everyone, so I think I will settle in very well here." 

Quizzed on his qualities as a footballer, the 6ft 1in forward described attributes that look tailor-made for Ange Postecoglou's new-look side. 

Veliz said: "I'm very good in the air. But overall, I'm a very passionate player who gives absolutely everything. 

"I run for everything and I never give up any pass as a lost cause. I'm going to give everything I can for this shirt." 

Succession plan

Alejo Veliz is one of the contenders to replace Harry Kane at Spurs
Alejo Veliz is one of the contenders to replace Harry Kane at Spurs

Prior to Sunday's match with Brentford, Postecoglou spoke about how Spurs have been planning for life without Kane. 

He said: "Our whole strategy has been around the fact Harry wasn't going to be around, more than likely. 

"We knew it was coming and we've been working towards that." 

The signing of Veliz was clearly part of that plan. 

He will join a squad that already has Richarlison and Heung-Min Son as more senior options to replace Kane. 

Gift Orban is another young striker who has been heavily linked with a move to Spurs. 

Then there are talented forwards within the club's academy system such as Dane Scarlett, Jamie Donley and Will Lankshear. 

Where Veliz will rank in the pecking order remains to be seen and a loan move should not be ruled out. 

But for the first time in years, there is a vacancy for a first-choice striker at Spurs. 

And if we take the word of Messi, their new signing is in the mix to fill it.


Tottenham HotspurPremier LeagueHarry KaneAlejo Veliz
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