Spurs linked with Turkish right back Zeki Celik
Zeki CELIK of Lille during the Ligue 1 match between Angers SCO and Lille OSC at Stade Raymond Kopa on February 7, 2020 in Angers, France. (Photo by Eddy Lemaistre/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur have been heavily linked with Lille OSC right back Zeki Celik according to reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Following the signing of Pierre-Emile Hojberg, Jose Mourinho further looking to bolster his squad ahead of the 20/21 Premier League season.

Full back is a position that Spurs need to sign the correct players for, considering the lack of outstanding quality in such positions over previous years. So is Celik finally the man to make the right-back slot his own?

  • Who is Zeki Celik?

Celik started his career at Turkish first division side Bursaspor Kulubu Dernegi 2015 after spending six years making his way through the academy.

In his first season, he was immediately loaned out to second division side Karacabey Belediyespor where the full-back started to make a name for himself, appearing 34 times in the 15/16 season.

Celik's loan spell attracted interest from Turkish side Istanbulspor who decided to sign the youngster on a permanent deal.

The teenager at the time went on to enjoy a successful two years at the club, helping his team to a respectable ninth-place finish in his final season.

Celik's outstanding performances were enough to earn him a big move to Lille in the summer of 2018. Since his transfer, Celik has made the right-back position his own appearing in 57 of Lille's games across two years.

This season in-particularly however, the Turkish international has impressed heavily helping Les Douges to a second-place finish whilst simultaneously conceding the least amount of goals in the division (33).

According to French football writer Jeremy Smith, Celik epitomises the modern fullback without the defensive fragilities: “He’s only 23 so there is still room for improvement, but he’s already a pretty complete player.”

  • Spurs' solution?

It’s no secret that ever since Kyle Walker joined Manchester City in 2017, Spurs haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement at right back.

For a while, it looked as if Kieran Trippier was good enough to take the reins, but a calamitous 18/19 campaign ensured that Tottenham needed to look elsewhere.

Serge Aurier was signed as soon as Walker left, but the error-prone fullback has proved over and over again he is far too rash to cement his place in Spurs’ starting XI. AC Milan have also been linked with a £9 million move with the Ivory Coast international which looks increasingly likely to go ahead.

Kyle Walker-Peters always seemed to have the potential to fill the void, but a lack of game time eventually meant he was more valuable as part of a trade deal for new signing Hojbjerg.

So, is Celik finally the man to give Tottenham some much needed defensive stability? For an asking price of £18 million, it could be a steal considering he could make the right-back position his at N17 for many years to come.

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