Tottenham Transfer Rumours: Federico Balzaretti Would Be Key to Spurs' Future
Tottenham have been linked with a deal for Roma full-back Federico Balzaretti that would involve Benoit Assou-Ekotto going the other way.
Simon Jones of the Daily Mail reports that it would be a loan deal, with both players switching clubs temporarily to begin with.
Spurs are already in discussions with the Italian club regarding a big-money move for Argentine winger Erik Lamela, with the Evening Standard's Simon Johnson reporting that the player is in London ahead of tying up a club record £30 million deal.
If a deal can be struck for Balzaretti too, it would be a coup for manager Andre Villas-Boas as he prepares his squad to face the season without talisman Gareth Bale.
Assou-Ekotto has quickly fallen out of favour with his Portuguese manager. Having failed to play at all during preseason, the Cameroon defender was not included in either of Spurs' matchday squads for their opening games against Crystal Palace and Swansea.
And on August 17, the first day of the new Premier League season, Tottenham fan Calum Davidson tweeted a picture of himself and the former Lens defender with this message:
If true, Spurs seem determined to get rid of the 29-year-old before the close of the transfer window, and Balzaretti could be the perfect replacement.
Villas-Boas has started Danny Rose on the left side of defence in Spurs' opening two league games, and the former Sunderland loanee has already demonstrated the impressive form that made him such a hit at the Stadium of Light last season.
The 23-year-old looks to finally be getting an opportunity to show what he can do in a white shirt after being farmed out on loan to lower league clubs Watford, Peterborough United and Bristol City in recent years.
Former Leeds youngster Rose is showing the potential to be Tottenham's starting left-back for years to come, and learning from the experienced Balzaretti would only help him develop further.
The Italian international is an accomplished left-back, adept at both defending and supporting his team's attacks with driving runs forward and balls into the opposition box.
At 31, he has over a decade of top-flight experience in Serie A and in recent years has worked his way into the national team too.
With Rose starting most games, Balzaretti would provide excellent backup in case of injury or suspension.
And, with cup and Europa League fixtures to consider, he could still expect to play a good number of games when Villas-Boas decides to rotate his squad and rest players from his preferred starting XI.
After spending some of his early career playing as a winger, Rose now needs to settle at left-back and learn everything he can about the position to realise his potential.
Training every day with a professional like former Juventus man Balzaretti will only benefit Rose's understanding of the game and performances on the pitch, helping him cement his place as Spurs' first-choice left-back.
If ever there was a win-win situation, this is it.
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