Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly monitoring the progress of Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo as a potential replacement for Danny Rose, who has fallen out of favour in north London of late.
Grimaldo has endured numerous injury setbacks since he left Barcelona B to join the reigning Primeira Liga champions in January 2016, having cemented his spot as a senior Eagles star when fully fit.
The 22-year-old missed 33 matches over the course of Benfica's 2016-17 season due to injury, per Transfermarkt, but Scouted Football recently depicted his importance when he's a part of their XI:
Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl
These @11tegen11 passmaps (before they included xGChain) show how important Grimaldo is for Benfica. Lots of touches; links to a range of players and positions; providing a footing in opposition halves. Would be perfect for Pep or Sarri. Please stay fit. https://t.co/wjEEs5kVK0
Rose may need replacing at Wembley Stadium in the near future as speculation over his future continues to swirl. An interview he gave to The Sun's Dave Kidd in August regarding wage discrepancies and his willingness to leave the club has led to some disharmony.
The England international suffered a serious knee injury in January of this year, and Ben Davies has stepped in as a capable replacement, meaning Rose may no longer be considered as indispensable as he once was.
Grimaldo climbed Spain's international youth ranks and represented his country at under-21 level, but concerns over his lack of consistent fitness may be of concern to any admirers in north London.
Metro's Portuguese football expert, Jan Hagen, recently attested as much when speaking of the defender's strengths and weaknesses:
Sport Witness also referred to the Jornal de Noticias report, adding that Benfica manager Rui Vitoria wants to sell Grimaldo and invest in other stars after growing frustrated with his numerous injury setbacks.
Benfica's loss could be Tottenham's gain, however, as Statman Dave pointed to the impressive performance Grimaldo gave against Premier League heavyweights Manchester United earlier this season:
Even if the Spaniard were to arrive at Spurs, there's no guarantee he would beat incumbent Davies to a place in the XI, but his age makes him a promising long-term project to invest in.
Pochettino could acquire one of the up-and-coming superstars in the position should Spurs convert their interest, although Grimaldo is a risk he may not feel is worthy of his reported £25 million price tag.