A darling of the Football Manager faithful, Miralem Pjanic could be an affordable and like-for-like replacement for Tottenham Hotspur if Modric joins Chelsea...
Amongst the slew of summer transfer gossip that is currently being vomited onto newspaper back pages and internet forums alike there’s a rumour that is gathering momentum and legitimacy with every passing day. It has quietly grown in prominence, making its steady way through the screaming headlines until now, finally, it deserves due attention. Miralem Pjanic to White Hart Lane. It’s a rarity on the grapevine in that it makes perfect sense. It all fits together like a simple mathematical equation. The talented young Bosnian is a jewel who has shined a touch too bright for the French Ligue 1 and the glare has inevitably refracted across the English Channel. Spurs meanwhile are on the point of losing their scheming gnome Modric – a player who possesses similar, though admittedly superior, qualities to Pjanic – who is pushing forcibly for a big-money switch to neighbours Chelsea.
Young A moves to B to replace Old C. It’s so easy it wouldn’t look out of place on a modern-day GCSE paper.
The Croat will leave a creative chasm in the Spurs midfield that the dazzling Pjanic could neatly fill. Blessed with vision, trickery and the balance of a Subbuteo player the twenty-one year old also, crucially, has the industry required for any central role. He doesn’t just spray a thirty-yard pass out wide and stands, hands on hips, admiring; he then has the work ethic to sprint into the box and get on the end of any subsequent delivery. Though there is an understandable element of doubt about whether he has the physique to withstand a ninety-minute skirmish with a Barton or De Jong it’s worth noting that similar doubts were initially held against Modric himself until he excelled as the middle-of-the-park puppet master. What Spurs will perhaps lose in intelligent movement, simplicity and guileful link-up play they will gain with Pjanic’s sheer energy and adventure. Dare I say it, they will have their very own Samir Nasri. If I dare push it further…only better.
Then there’s the money. Thirty million plus for a disgruntled player who is allergic to scoring goals and looks like an anaemic ferret will represent a sound bit of business from the arch wheeler and dealer ‘Arry – that’s a lot of second-hand cars – and with the hefty residuum of funds after purchasing his younger model it will free up some much-needed cash to pursue the new striker he so desperately covets.
Pjanic has long been courted by both Milan clubs, Barca, Real and, predictably, Arsenal
Here though we hit a snag, perhaps the only one in this perfectly-wrapped vignette. Pjanic plays for Olympic Lyonnais and Lyon never, ever sell on the cheap. The price being bandied around in the media has yet to top ten million. I would suggest there is more chance of Colleen Rooney looking feminine than the French club being wiling to accept a Euro less than double that amount.
However, considering that would match the fee splurged by Liverpool on a tragically over-hyped Henderson, who will be required to make the same surging runs a few hundred miles up the road, that would still equate to a fantastic investment in comparison. Pjanic has long been courted by both Milan clubs, Barca, Real and, predictably, Arsenal (if you’re a young French-based player who has never been linked with Wenger then pack up your kitbag and change profession). He is presently a dynamic bundle of pace and promise with the potential to be something very special indeed. What’s more he is ready for the big stage and global limelight. If these rumours have any substance behind them – and I believe they have – then Redknapp needs to act swiftly because another season and the Bosnian will be surely out of his club’s reach. Quite frankly, considering the lad’s immense ability, I’m astonished they are forerunners for his signature as it is.
There is however another possible scenario, one that should have all Spurs fans rattling their jewellery in excitement and Redknapp forgetting to moan for ooh at least a day. It is that Tottenham continue to hold firm with their sulking star and tell Chelsea to stick it. They place Modric in a midfield three alongside Sandro and Bale whilst purchasing Pjanic to wander free with Van der Vaart behind a solitary striker.
And they then become – with one retention and a single addition – an attractive, fluid side more than capable of regaining a Champions League berth.
So stop your whinging about ‘crazy wages’ Harry. There is a gem just across the water – who is well within your budget - who might just add up to a wealth of future riches.
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