The January transfer window is set to slam shut in less than a week and Tottenham Hotspur may not be finished doing their business before the second half of the season.
Ange Postecoglou has already been heavily backed by Daniel Levy since his switch from Scottish giants Celtic at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.
The likes of James Maddison, Guglielmo Vicario, Micky van de Ven, and Brennan Johnson, among others, were snapped up to bolster his squad last summer.
This month, Timo Werner has been brought in on loan from German side RB Leipzig and central defender Radu Draguson has been signed from Serie A outfit Genoa on a permanent deal.
A central midfielder now appears to be on the cards for Spurs as they have been credited with an interest in a promising young talent from the Championship.
Tottenham’s search for a midfielder
According to journalist Dean Jones, speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the club have a “genuine interest” in Blackburn Rovers staret Adam Wharton.
The reporter claims that Spurs would have been at the front of the queue for the English gem previously but that has now changed following Crystal Palace’s attempted swoop for his services this month.
He also adds that Blackburn are not eager to cash in on their prized asset this window and would prefer to wait until the end of the season to move him on.
The Daily Mail recently reported that Palace had an offer of £18.5m rejected by the Championship side, who would also like to keep Wharton on loan until the end of the season if any deal is agreed.
Roy Hodgson’s side are now considering a second bid to land his signature before the window slams shut on Thursday, although it remains to be seen how high they are willing to go.
The Sun claim that Chelsea have also joined the race to sign the England U20 international and that Blackburn are looking for a fee of up to £25m, which is £6.5m more than Palace’s initial offer.
Postecoglou could land an upgrade on current Spurs midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg by beating off interest from the Eagles and Chelsea to snap up the second division sensation before the deadline passes at the start of February.
Earlier this month, journalist Florian Plettenberg claimed that the Denmark international is open to an exit from North London amid interest from Italian giants Juventus.
Adam Wharton strike gets Blackburn level 💥 pic.twitter.com/SDZJ8oUXbP
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 8, 2023
The club are prepared to sanction a permanent deal or a loan with an obligation to make it permanent for the former Southampton star, as Levy is not willing to let him go on loan with no guarantee of it leading to a transfer.
Hojbjerg’s struggles at Spurs this season
It has been a difficult season for the Danish battler under Postecoglou this season as he has not been able to nail down a place as a regular starter.
The 28-year-old midfielder has only started five Premier League matches this term and that means that he has to make the most of his opportunities when they come along.
Hojbjerg did not do that when the head coach named him as a starter against Manchester City in the FA Cup on Friday night, which ended in a 1-0 defeat for Spurs.
As you can see in the table above, the Tottenham enforcer did not cover himself in glory at either end of the pitch with his weak play in 50/50 contests and his lack of creativity in possession did not help his side.
He was very fortunate not to directly contribute to the winning goal for City as his poor touch in the box led to Kevin de Bruyne having a virtually free shot at goal from 15 yards, which the Belgian wizard inexplicably fired wide of the target.
This performance is unlikely to convince Postecoglou that Hojbjerg deserves more game time in the Premier League, particularly on top of his underwhelming displays in the top-flight.
He has averaged 1.4 tackles and interceptions and 0.3 key passes per game across 20 appearances in the division, to go along with a duel success rate of 48%.
Wharton could arrive as an upgrade on the ex-Saints ace if he can translate his impressive displays in the Championship over to the Premier League.
The stats that show why Wharton could offer more than Hojbjerg
The 19-year-old has established himself as a regular starter for Blackburn in the middle of the park this season and has caught the eye with his play in and out of possession.
Across 26 appearances in the division, the teenage whiz has contributed with two goals, three assists, and 1.3 key passes per game for Rovers.
This suggests that he could offer considerably more creativity than Hojbjerg as he has proven his ability to find his teammates in goalscoring positions on a regular basis, which the current Spurs man has failed to do.
[FBCharts] Adam Wharton
As you can see in the chart above, Wharton also ranks within the top 20% of his positional peers in the Championship for progressive passes per 90, with 6.48 for Blackburn.
This shows that the English dynamo consistently looks to break lines and progress the play to provide his team’s attackers with the ball in dangerous areas of the pitch.
Along with his impressive work in possession, Wharton also offers a strong defensive presence for his side in midfield. He has made 3.5 tackles and interceptions combined and 5.5 ball recoveries per match in the Championship, to go along with a duel success rate of 50%.
The Blackburn star, who was hailed as “complete” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, has made 2.1 more tackles and interceptions combined and 2.0 more ball recoveries per game than Hojbjerg has managed in the Premier League this season.
Overall, the potential is there for the £25m-rated gem to offer more than the current Tottenham midfielder in terms of his contributions on and off the ball.
At the age of 19, Wharton is also nine years younger than Hojbjerg and could, therefore, offer far more long-term value to Postecoglou as he has plenty of time to develop and improve, which is another reason why he could come in as an upgrade on the Danish dud.