An area that seems to have gotten little attention until the Mail brought it up Friday was the creative playmaker. Roma’s Miralem Pjanic is the man on the paper’s lips and that should come as little surprise as Spurs have had an interest in the Bosnian last summer.
Before we go any further, it should be pointed out what kind of playmaker that’s being discussed here.
Gareth Bale is a playmaker for certain, but Bale’s playmaking revolves around powerful dribbling, blistering pace and rockets from all parts of the pitch. Mousa Dembele is a different playmaker but shares similarities in terms of dribbling and shooting being important components of his game.
Lewis Holtby is different still but, again, shares similarities by virtue of being someone who makes things happen on the dribble and pops up in different places to receive passes and move the ball forward.
Pjanic is less of a dribbling threat than a passer. While he is not of the same mold as, say, Joao Moutinho, Tottenham currently does not have a playmaker in the mold of the Roma midfielder.
This is a key difference because when it comes to breaking down Premier League defenses, having a player able to cut the defense apart with a pass is vital. This was an area, particularly at White Hart Lane, where the club struggled heavily.
Tom Carroll may at one point be the answer to that position. The Spurs youngster got experience in the Europa League as well as the odd substitute appearance last term. However, given the urgency of Tottenham’s cause, the club needs a player that is ready right now.
Pjanic fits that bill and offers the ability to play in all the midfield positions as he has demonstrated while at Roma. While Pjanic is far more suited to the attack, he can play deeper in the midfield and, if Spurs were in desperate need of a goal, probably as far back as the holding midfield slot.
What is important to note is, while Roma were not interested in selling the player during the January transfer window, that does not appear to be the case now. There are also several other factors that would make a transfer more likely this summer.
Roma finished sixth in Serie A and lost in the final of the Coppa Italia, knocking the Rome outfit out of European competition. This is a major blow to the club and one that means players are likely to be sold off this summer.
Tottenham have a connection to Roma through the recently departed Franco Baldini. The Spurs technical director has knowledge of the players and would likely be able to foster a move if the chance comes along.
Perhaps most telling is that the president of Roma, James Pallotta, has said that “Everybody is for sale. Everybody is on the market.”
Pallotta’s comments come from the Mirror’s bit on Daniele De Rossi and Chelsea. That Roma are even willing to consider selling De Rossi—or anyone else for that matter—gives hope that Tottenham can find a way to make a deal.
It cannot be understated the need to get players not only in the door but those that can help the club immediately. The way things are shaping up, missing the Champions League for a third season will likely force a reset of the club. No one who supports the white half of North London wants to see that and Pjanic could be a vital cog in the wheel of ensuring that does not happen in 2014.