Tottenham Should Go All-in on Pursuing Oliver Sorg in January Transfer Window
Tottenham Hotspur need to sign Freiburg full-back Oliver Sorg in the January transfer window.
Before you Google Sorg, this isn't an active transfer rumour—just a suggestion that Spurs management buy one of the up-and-coming defenders in European football.
He'll be cup-tied for the UEFA Europa League but think long term.
|Tackling %||Tackles Per Game||Interceptions Per Game|
Whoscored and Squawka
Sorg has a 96 percent chance of winning the ball, which is 36 percent higher than Danny Rose. Yes, Rose's tackling percentage on loan at Sunderland last season was 87, but he needs competition.
Go look at Andre Villas-Boas' other options at left-back and you cannot seriously say buying Sorg is not necessary.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto is on loan purgatory with Queens Park Rangers. Regarding Kyle Naughton, to quote Assou-Ekotto, via The Guardian: "He's [Naughton's] not a real left-back and I don't think he has the same left foot as me, so I'm not worried about that." Zeki Fryers has 69 minutes of Premier League experience, with not a single second was accumulated as a Spurs player.
When you think about it, Tottenham's best left-back is Jan Vertonghen, but since he's one of the best centre-backs in Europe, it's a waste to play him on the left.
Another reason why buying Sorg makes so much sense is his Philipp Lahm-esque ability to switch seamlessly between right- and left-back.
When he started at right-back against Bayern, he was instrumental in helping Freiburg cling on to a 1-1 draw with interception after interception.
Daniel Carvajal: Only 1 defender (Oliver Sorg 241) made more tackles + interceptions in Europe's top 5 leagues this term than Carvajal (228)— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 3, 2013
Sorg is an instinctual read-and-react footballer but his man-marking can be loose and his positional play is unpredictable. This means he leaves holes behind him and in the 3-3 draw against Hoffenheim, he didn't communicate with Matthias Ginter, enabling Kevin Volland to gash the Freiburg backline. The play ends with Sorg's knee-jerk tackle on Volland resulting in a Hoffenheim penalty (it's the only tackle Sorg has mistimed this season).
When Nicolai Muller scored Mainz's second, it was created by Niki Zimling's first-touch pass but it was Sorg's lax marking that enabled Zimling time and space.
Sorg is a work in progress but if you're familiar with Freiburg, you know they are pushovers in the transfer market, so his transfer fee will be cheap. In 2001, Freiburg's Sebastian Kehl would have been sold to Bayern Munich for £475,000, if not for Borussia Dortmund's £1.9 million bid. He was one of the most promising players in Germany at the time, so Freiburg screwed themselves out of several million pounds.
This happened again 11 years later.
Should Spurs buy Oliver Sorg?
During the 2012 January transfer window, the club inexplicably sold Papiss Cisse, who scored 22 goals the previous season and had netted nine times in 17 games, to Newcastle United for only £9 million. Cisse would score 13 goals in his first 14 Premier League games for the Toon.
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