Will Federico Fazio turn into Tottenham Hotspur's security blanket at centre-back? Or, is he a big transfer mistake?
Former Monaco chief executive officer Tor-Kristian Karlsen tweeted that Fazio was one of the "most talented centre-backs" he had ever seen.
Reported Spurs target Federico Fazio (Sevilla) probably rates among the five most talented centre-backs I've ever seen (1/2)— Tor-Kristian Karlsen (@karlsentk) August 22, 2014
Outstanding in the 2007 U20 WC, had to change his game somewhat following a serious injury a few years ago. Still interesting though (2/2)— Tor-Kristian Karlsen (@karlsentk) August 22, 2014
Fazio has enjoyed a steady career at Sevilla.
He anchored Sevilla's back line, was a motivating leader on the field and helped the club win the UEFA Europa League last season.
Inaugurando twitter! pic.twitter.com/a1ZnamWB7D— Federico Fazio (@Fede2Fazio) May 19, 2014
Fazio's sizeable height advantage enables him to dominate aerially in defence and attack (set-piece threat).
Fazio won more headers last season than Jan Vertonghen, Vlad Chiriches and Younes Kaboul combined.
|League Only 2013-14||Total Headers Won||Headers Won Per Game||Height||Weight|
|Federico Fazio||120||4.4||6'5"||187 lbs|
|Jan Vertonghen||57||2.5||6'3"||190 lbs|
|Vlad Chiriches||25||1.5||6'1"||165 lbs|
|Younes Kaboul||29||2.2||6'0"||165 lbs|
Fazio possesses the two detrimental traits that could make him a transfer bust:
- David Luiz's inconsistency.
- Titus Bramble's concentration levels.
Lacking awareness, Fazio failed to attack the ball that bounced into the path of Real Madrid left-forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Switching off, Fazio inadvertently headed the ball to Athletic Bilbao centre-forward Gaizka Toquero.
Misreading the flight of the ball, Fazio exposed Sevilla's entire flank as Real Sociedad right attacking midfielder Carlos Vela charged forward.
Fazio shoved Christian Stuani gift-wrapping Espanyol a penalty.
Outwitted by David Barral, Fazio tripped the Levante centre-forward to concede a daft penalty.
Unnecessarily making contact with Real Betis centre-forward Jorge Molina, Fazio gave away another penalty.
A step behind play, Fazio took down then-Malaga (now Fiorentina) right attacking midfielder Joaquin to get red carded.
Putting Sevilla in a disadvantaged situation (again), Fazio impeded Atletico Madrid winger Koke and was dismissed.
If Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino can turn Dejan Lovren from one of the worst Ligue 1 defenders into a £20 million-valued Liverpool summer signing, Fazio should prosper under Pochettino, his compatriot.
The talent is there.
Playing at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup for Argentina, Fazio was named an outstanding player, per FIFA: "Hard-working, competitive central defender, powerful in the air."
Fazio will identify with Pochettino.
Pochettino was one of Argentina's most promising players at the 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship, per FIFA: "Argentina's tactics relied on a strong defence comprised of three defenders commanded by their level-headed libero, Pocchettino."
Fazio has made a plethora of mistakes and combined with his past fitness issues, his transfer to Spurs is risky.
But when Fazio is in the zone, he is a one-man wall.
Pocchettino will be thinking: "I proved the doubters wrong with Lovren and I will silence the Fazio critics as you watch me take him to the next level."
Statistics via WhoScored.com