<
>

Georges-Kevin N'Koudou would add pace to creative Tottenham attack

Tottenham have already made two key signings this summer, bolstering the midfield and striking departments by bringing in Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen respectively. Now, the club have turned their attention to recruiting an attacking midfielder.

After showing interest in Newcastle's Georginio Wijnaldum, it appears Spurs are now eager to bring Marseille winger Georges-Kevin N'Koudou to White Hart Lane.

N'Koudou's pace would be an asset to a Tottenham side that has plenty of creativity but sometimes struggles to get in behind their opposition. His ability to use both feet effectively -- he scored from outside the box with each of them last season -- is also valuable. The Frenchman's age (21) and fee, thought to be around £11 million, both fit nicely with Tottenham's recruitment policy, and there are echoes of the move for Janssen.

Like Spurs' new Dutch striker, N'Koudou has only spent one season at his current club, having swapped Nantes for Marseille in summer 2015.

After scoring 10 goals last term, N'Koudou is already thought to be ready for the Premier League and, like Janssen's previous employers AZ Alkmaar, Marseille stand to make a sizeable profit on the mere £1m they paid only 12 months ago.

The policy of snapping up young talents when they are affordable makes sense -- especially at a time when transfer fees are rocketing --- but it also represents a gamble. After all, Spurs signed young, pacy attacking midfielder Clinton Njie from Lyon for £12m last summer, and it remains to be seen whether he will make the grade in North London.

Does the move for N'Koudou suggest Tottenham are already looking to replace Njie? It has been suggested that the Cameroon international might move the other way and join Marseille on loan, which would seem harsh; while Njie looked rather unrefined in his first few months in England, he missed most of last season due to a knee injury and was therefore unable to acclimatise properly and get used to the pace of the English game.

If Spurs' plan to bring in and develop promising young players from around Europe, there must surely be an acceptance that -- like Erik Lamela -- it will take time for them to show their best form in their new surroundings. It seems premature to already decide that Njie, 22, is a dud. It remains unclear what he could contribute in North London, and there is little guarantee that N'Koudou would fare any better, so perhaps there is room for both of them in the squad as the campaign gets underway. Assessments can be made further down the line.

Heung-Min Son, another attacking midfielder who arrived last summer, has also shown signs that he has more to offer Spurs, especially after scoring in successive games against Chelsea and Southampton at the end of the last campaign. He will surely get at least another year to prove himself after arriving for £22m.

Nacer Chadli may be feeling a little less secure about his place. Apart from a purple patch in January, when he netted four times in three games, the Belgian had an underwhelming third campaign with Tottenham last season, scoring seven times total, with four goals coming in cup competitions.

Chadli's last start came when Spurs exited the Europa League against Borussia Dortmund and he failed to make an impact in various substitute appearances afterwards, although some of them were brief. He may justifiably look to 2014-15 as indicative of his true potency; he scored 13 times for Spurs two seasons ago, and can argue that he'll make a return to that level and be similarly effective next term if given the opportunity.

But there may be a feeling that the likes of Son, Njie and possibly N'Koudou have more potential, and it would hardly be surprising if Pochettino decides he needs an upgrade, both to improve his options when he rotates his squad as Tottenham prepare for their Champions League campaign, and to give him a more explosive impact player off the bench.

Chadli is not the only one who might feel a little demoralised if N'Koudou does indeed move to the capital; two homegrown players, Alex Pritchard and Josh Onomah, will also be hoping to make an impact next term. While most Spurs fans would like to see the pair get opportunities, they will probably also be buoyed to see the club investing funds and attempting to bring in a France under-21 international to give Pochettino more choices and firepower.

Whether N'Koudou will indeed join Tottenham remains to be seen. If he does, Pochettino will hope he compares favourably when put up against the players that arrived to solve the same issues that club faced 12 months ago.