Various reports have surfaced confirming that Tottenham Hotspur have secured the services of French international and Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue. The reported fee of £8.6 million is lower than that offered by Cardiff City, which Toulouse had accepted a week prior.
That fee should prove quite cheap if the holding midfielder can replicate last seasons's outstanding form in Britain. His average WhoScored? rating of 7.5 put him second only to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Ligue 1 last season.
He achieved that rating through consistent, all-round performances. From his holding position in his club's 4-1-4-1 formation, Capoue managed seven goals and three assists—far more than other big-name holding midfielders like Lucas (no goals, one assist), or Tottenham's own Sandro (one goal, two assists).
Tottenham are more than a little heavy in central midfield at the moment, but this signing should prove highly useful. For one, Bleacher Report's Tactical Analyst Sam Tighe seems to think Capoue's presence frees up recent signing Paulinho for another role:
Paulinho has experience at the No. 10 position, having played there for Brazilian club Corinthians for the several months prior to his sale. He is an unorthodox choice for the role, to be sure, but he could be deployed in a manner similar to Everton's Marouane Fellaini.
Putting a more domineering physical presence at the No. 10 position allows for very effective harassment of deep lying playmakers, as well as serving as a better position from which to threaten the goal. Given Paulinho's speed, power, tackling ability and shooting prowess, he seems a fine candidate for transition to such a role.
It remains to be seen exactly how manager Andre Villas Boas intends to use either powerful midfielder, but one thing is clear: Arsenal fans, having seen their club bid on him in January, will not be happy.
What do you think? Is Capoue the right man for Tottenham? Should AVB and Co. have looked elsewhere? Have your say in the comments!