Tottenham have been seriously fun to watch under Ange Postecoglou so far, but that has come at the expense of some questionable defending on several occasions.
For every ‘mate’ and moment of breathtaking attacking brilliance, there’s often been a lapse at the back or simply not enough defenders there to cover the inevitable counter-attack that follows.
That attacking style is still a breath of fresh air off the back of endgame Conte-ball that felt like enough to put the club out of business in 2022-23, but if Tottenham truly want to kick on and capitalise on the misfortunes of rivals around them, then their defence must be more watertight.
Not just watertight. Their defence needs to be stacked with killers, hungry for strikers to hunt down and bludgeon with crunching tackles and the art of defending.
Micky van de Ven has gone a long way in getting Postecoglou closer to achieving that feat, but with him injured, it’s back to square one.
And even with him fit, they’re still missing something. A cold-blooded animal ready to get his hands dirty, who fears no attacker, who lives and breathes defending.
Radu Dragusin is not only one of the best-performing young defenders in Europe’s top five right now, but we’re also convinced he’s a Viking of yesteryear living among us. It’s hard to believe he’s Romanian.
Blessed with freakish pace and a hair/beard combo that’s enough to make any budding hipster pack it all up and find another subculture, Dragusin has been combining the best of defending with the best of looking like the most terrifying man in football for Genoa this season. He’s a complete demon.
It’s worked a charm.
Dragusin has already been capped by his country 13 times at the age of 21 and made a permanent move to Genoa from Juventus following a loan spell last season, catching fire in Serie A in 2023-24 with a catalogue of exceptional individual displays.
A tough tackler with an almighty recovery pace, it’s no wonder Spurs have been so keen to agree personal terms with him ahead of the January transfer window. If they can pull off the transfer, it’s hard to imagine a world where he doesn’t fit like a glove.
I need Radu Dragusin at my club 💪💫 pic.twitter.com/7dpOqh8BQ7
— Kieran (@thfckieran22) December 29, 2023
It takes some doing to be able to pull off a man bun like that in 2023. Dragusin crushes it, but even if he didn’t, we’d still be terrified of telling him.
In fact, if we turned up to football on a cold Tuesday night after work and saw him frothing at the mouth, desperately waiting for victims to claim, we’d simply turn back around, skip the game and head straight to the pub. No thanks.
What an absolute hunk. A big scary defensive menace who appears to get stronger with every tackle he makes in Italy, the 21-year-old has won more aerial duels than any other defender in Serie A this season and has been dribbled past just once.
Really, once. Virgil van Dijk, come outside. The goths win this one.
His 93.8% tackle success rate doesn’t need an explanation. Dragusin is a menace who thrives on hunting down strikers and has a point to prove after failing to make the grade on his first shot in the main event with Juventus.
Helping to steady the ship at Genoa has been the perfect stepping stone, but with London calling, it’s hard not to see him make the jump and test himself against some of the best attackers in the world.
By Mitch Wilks