Paris Saint-Germain are set to complete a surprise move for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Benjamin Stambouli. The 24-year-old, formerly of Montpellier, will complete a £6m transfer imminently as a replacement for Yohan Cabaye.
1970 PSG: Thanks ever so much Dan for taking the time to speak to us. This deal has come out of the blue for PSG, what are your thoughts? Is this a good piece of business from both clubs?
Tottenham Blog: It had looked like Stambouli was about to join Watford so it was clear that Spurs wanted to get rid of him and this looks like a move that will suit all parties. PSG get a French player to replace Cabaye, Spurs get a slightly bigger fee and best of all, Stambouli gets a move to one of the top teams in Europe rather than a side that are likely to be fighting relegation!
1970 PSG: He arrived at Spurs with some promise but found his playing time hard to come by. Why was this?
Tottenham Blog: Pochettino never seemed convinced by him, even when Stambouli came into the side and played well. On the face of it he was the right type of midfielder for Tottenham’s current system but perhaps he paid the price for the club failing to land the player that Pochettino really wanted last summer, Morgan Schneiderlin. There is a theory that Stambouli has been reduced to an unfortunate political pawn, as Pochettino battles to make sure that Spurs buy the players that he really wants.
1970 PSG: What would you say are his key strength and weaknesses?
Tottenham Blog: He is a hard worker and brings a lot of energy to a team, with a decent positional sense and neat passing. His main weaknesses are the fact that he’s quite slow. It’s been suggested that he’s a poor trainer, but I think that’s plain conjecture from fans trying to understand why Pochettino didn’t rate him.
1970 PSG: Do you think he has the potential/character to stake a claim for first-team place in the PSG midfield? With Thiago Motta earmarking a possible move elsewhere, is he good enough to take the mantle?
Tottenham Blog: I think PSG have bought him as a squad player and you shouldn’t perhaps expect much more of him than that. He was decent as Spurs but no more than that. Perhaps he could have improved if given a run in the side, yet at PSG the competition for places will be more intense, not less. That said, Hugo Lloris had this to say about Stambouli, which bodes well: “A boy like Benji Stambouli , for example, will succeed, he has the talent, he has his head on his shoulders, he’s a hard worker, he came to question and I know he has not lost this year, he worked hard, and it’s going to pay, he will come out grown up. I love this kind of players who give everything for the team. It’s really a good guy.”