Tottenham: Conte could make 'surprise' move with £40m star at Hotspur Way

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte in the Premier League against Burnley

Tottenham Hotspur’s apparent pursuit of West Ham United midfielder Tomas Soucek has been labelled ‘quite surprising’ by Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor.

Spurs are believed to be interested in prising the 27-year-old away from the London Stadium this summer as manager Antonio Conte looks to bolster his engine room options.

What is the latest news involving Soucek?

According to the Daily Express, West Ham have placed a £40 million price tag on Soucek amid interest from Serie A giants Juventus and Tottenham.

The report claims that Spurs boss Conte is ‘a fan’ of Soucek’s and that the north London outfit are closely monitoring his situation ahead of the summer transfer window.

Doubts were first raised over the Czech Republic international’s future after 90min revealed in April that talks over a new contract were put on hold at David Moyes’ request.

Soucek still has two years remaining on his £70,000-per-week deal, and although negotiations are expected to resume at the end of the season, uncertainty remains over his next steps.

What has Taylor said about Soucek?

Midfield is one of several areas of the pitch that Conte is expected to strengthen when the market reopens for business, and Taylor has revealed to GiveMeSport that Soucek’s name keeps cropping up when potential targets are discussed.

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He told GMS: “One unusual name that crops up, which is quite surprising, is Tomas Soucek.

“Quite a strange one, really, because obviously it’s not a player traditionally you’d sort of think stands out or a team would look at pinching from someone like West Ham.”

Would Soucek be a good signing?

Soucek has firmly established himself as a top Premier League player since arriving at West Ham on an initial loan deal in January 2020 from Slavia Prague.

In 104 appearances across all competitions, the 6 foot 4 ace has registered 19 goals and two assists, forming a formidable partnership alongside Declan Rice in the middle of the pitch.

And Soucek’s underlying numbers highlight just how impressive he has been for Moyes’s charges in recent times.

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Compared to players in his position over the last year, the box-to-box dynamo has ranked in the 99th percentile for clearances, 99th for aerial duels won, the 93rd for touches in the attacking penalty area and 91st for non-penalty expected goals, as per FBref.

These figures highlight Soucek’s effectiveness at both ends of the pitch and illustrate why Conte is so keen to bring him to Hotspur Way.

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