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Transfer Talk: Why Tottenham want to take Micky out of Wolfsburg
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Adam Drury
Micky van de Ven looks set to join Tottenham
Micky van de Ven looks set to join Tottenham

Aussie boss Ange Postecoglou intends to do things differently at Tottenham.

The North London club have spent the majority of the last four years putting their eggs in the baskets of Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, an experiment that paid little dividends.

Excitement and risk-taking are the new orders of the day at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium — and ball-playing defenders will form part of the innovative strategy.

We profile Wolfsburg centre-back Micky van de Ven, the centre-back Spurs hope will embody their change in style.

Defensive reshuffle

Restructuring Tottenham's defence must be one of Postecoglou's first priorities.

Spurs conceded the sixth-most goals in the Premier League last season (63), a poor return for a richly-assembled team that played defensive football for much of the campaign under Conte.

Any incomings must be offset by outgoings, with Postecoglou's squad full of players who are unlikely to make the transition.

Davinson Sanchez, Japhet Tanganga and Ben Davies could all be sold if the North London club commit to the Ange revolution.

Taking risks

Micky van de Ven is an aggressive defender
Micky van de Ven is an aggressive defender

Postecoglou has been hired to transform Tottenham's playing style, so their centre-backs will be expected to do very different things next season.

The Australian will ask his defenders to take risks with the ball in order to progress the side up the field, whether it be passes between the lines or dribbles.

Cristian Romero is likely to be one beneficiary of the style change – but the new boss will want a left-footed player to complement him.

Van de Ven appears to fit the mould perfectly.

Progressive and aggressive

The Dutchman has all the progressive attributes that Tottenham are after.

He ranked 13th of Bundesliga centre-backs for completed passes into the final third last season, while no positional rival completed more take-ons in the league.

Also ranking in the top 20 for possessions won in the middle and defensive thirds, the 22-year-old is an aggressive, front-foot defender.

Van de Ven is also blessed with remarkable recovery pace, a valuable attribute in a team that plans to take lots of risks with the ball.

He was officially ranked by the Bundesliga as the fastest centre-back in the division last season.

Micky van de Ven impressed for Wolfsburg last season
Micky van de Ven impressed for Wolfsburg last season

Value for money

Aged 22, Van de Ven is the perfect age profile for Spurs, too.

With a modest fee of £30million mooted, the defender comes relatively risk-free and can either prove a long-term asset or provide massive resale value if he develops into one of the best defenders in the world.

There is certainly belief at Wolfsburg that he is the real deal.

Marcel Schafer, the club's managing director for sport, said: "Left foot, extreme speed, plays every second, Micky has performed consistently very well throughout the season.

"He’s a player with huge potential and this season in particular has shown incredible development, playing himself into the spotlight with his performances."

Spurs will hope the 11-cap international will have all the attributes to quickly adapt to life in the Premier League.


Premier LeagueBundesligaTottenham HotspurWolfsburgMicky van de Ven
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