Tottenham Hotspur have started their transfer business early this summer, with 22-year-old Austrian defender Kevin Wimmer the first new signing to be confirmed.
So what should Spurs fans make of the deal? Here’s five things you need to know about the man…
1. Wimmer is a six-foot-two-inch, left-footed central defender. Last season, while playing in 24 of FC Cologne’s 25 Bundesliga games, he won 81% of tackles contested, and 58% of his aerial duels.
2. He was born in Wels, a small town in Northern Austria where – history fans may be interested to note, the Emperor Maximilian 1, who was influential in sparking the Renaissance in Germany, died in 1519. Wimmer began plying his art with local club FC Edt in 1998.
3. As a 10-year-old, Wimmer played as a striker, but moved into a midfield position when he was signed up to the youth academy of Austrian First Division side LASK Linz. His physicality meant he was soon moved into defence.
4. Wimmer’s style of play is described as ‘conservative’ – he does the basics well and doesn’t take risks. But he can step out of defence with the ball and pick out a pass – particularly short, accurate passes into the feet of midfielders or forwards – something Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino likes in a defender.
5. Lack of concentration is most often cited as Wimmer’s weak point – particularly when marking in high-intensity games against quality opposition. That, and a tendency to lose out in more aerial challenges than you may expect for a player of his height, will be a cause for concern in a Spurs team that had the worst defensive record in the top half of the table last season.
This signing is all about potential, and particularly about the coaching abilities of Pochettino’s staff. Wimmer is robust and hard-working – the latter in particular something Pochettino admires in a player – and the £4.3million fee is a decent enough price in today’s game for a promising young player.
Expect Wimmer to be eased in to the first team, leaving Spurs fans enough time to work out a song for the new man. Will it be “Wimmer takes it all” or “Everyone’s a Wimmer, baby.”
Only time will tell.