Tottenham Hotspur released Serge Aurier on a free transfer after bringing in Emerson Royal from Barcelona, so Nuno Espirito Santo planned to have the 22-year-old challenging Matt Doherty for a starting place at right-back.
Emerson has been a regular this season while Doherty provides backup, but TuttoMercatoWeb say Tottenham could bring in more competition as Antonio Conte takes charge – Zeki Celik from LOSC Lille.
Who is Celik?
Celik is a right-back who joined Lille from Instanbulspor in 2018 and has gone on to make 117 appearances in all competitions, scoring five goals with 11 assists. The 24-year-old, who has also played for Bursaspor, is a Turkish international with 27 caps to his name.
He won the Ligue 1 title under Christophe Galtier last season, making 29 league appearances as Lille finished one place and one point above Paris Saint-Germain, but is now playing under Jocelyn Gourvennec. Celik made 11/13 Ligue 1 appearances and 3/4 Champions League appearances, so he’s an important player for Lille and one of the first names on the teamsheet.
CIES Football Observatory value for the right-back at €15m-€20m (£12.8m-£17.1m) while his wage demands could be in excess of £14k-per-week/£0.7m-a-year, so he won’t break the bank if signed. TMW note that Atletico Madrid, AS Roma and Fiorentina are in competition with Spurs for Celik.
Where would Celik fit in the Tottenham squad?
Conte has Emerson and Doherty at his disposal, but the future of the latter may be up in the air. Doherty has made 35 appearances in all competitions since joining from Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer of 2020, but he’s featured only four times this season, amassing a paltry 206 minutes of football.
The 29-year-old has been an unused substitute in the league and EFL Cup and isn’t getting many opportunities on the pitch, so he might want playing time elsewhere in January. That may open up a void Celik could fill, but there’s no guarantee Tottenham will offload Doherty to sign a replacement.