Tottenham: ‘Incredible’ £40m target who Conte admires could land at Hotspur Way

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte in the Premier League against Norwich

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte is ‘an admirer’ of West Ham United midfielder Tomas Soucek, according to Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor.

Spurs are among the sides to have been linked with a surprise move for the Czech Republic international as uncertainty over his future at the London Stadium continues to mount.

What is the latest news involving Soucek?

Since arriving on English shores in January 2020, Soucek has established himself as one of the Premier League’s most dominant engine room operators.

The 27-year-old has registered 19 goals and two assists in 105 appearances for the Hammers, helping them to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League last term before guiding them to the Europa League semi-finals this time around.

However, talks over a new contract were reportedly shelved in April on the request of manager David Moyes, sparking speculation that Soucek’s time at the capital club could be drawing to a close.

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The 6 foot 4 ace has two years remaining on his existing deal, and although negotiations are expected to resume, multiple teams are keeping close tabs on his situation.

According to the Daily Express, both Tottenham and Juventus are ‘keeping an eye on developments’ while West Ham are said to have informed Soucek’s potential suitors that he will cost £40 million.

What has Taylor said about Soucek?

Taylor has revealed that while Conte appreciates Soucek’s talents, the engine room operator isn’t a ‘top’ target of his, although Spurs’ interest ‘could potentially develop’.

He told GiveMeSport: “I know Conte, from what I understand, seems to be an admirer of him. Obviously, he’s in talks with West Ham over a new contract, so I think that’s kind of linked to that situation, and they’re seeing what happens.

“It’s not a case of Soucek being one of the top targets, it’s just a player Tottenham seem to like, which is something that could potentially develop.”

Would Soucek improve Tottenham?

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel previously described Soucek and his midfield partner Declan Rice as “incredible” yet it’s questionable whether he would improve Spurs.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has often partnered January signing Rodrigo Bentancur in the centre of the pitch during Conte’s reign, putting in some solid if unspectacular displays.

As per FBref, Soucek made one shot-creating action, 2.74 passes into the final third of the pitch and 2.94 progressive passes per 90 throughout 2021/22, while Hojbjerg managed tallies of 2.28, 6.39 and 5.72, respectively.

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And the Denmark international also excelled defensively, winning 1.38 tackles, making 4.96 successful pressures and pulling off 1.97 interceptions compared to Soucek’s totals of 1.21, 3.79 and 1.62.

There is little doubting Soucek’s ability, but it seems as though he would be unable to offer an improvement on the options currently at Conte’s disposal.