Spurs transfer news: Jonathan Bamba could follow in Nicolas Pepe's footsteps

Jonathan Bamba

Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly continuing to track potential new forward acquisitions, including Lille's Jonathan Bamba.

According to a recent report from Sky Sports, Spurs are in the market for a new forward player amid Gareth Bale's claim that he'll be returning to Real Madrid at the end of his season-long loan deal. 

Bamba, 24, has been in fine form in Ligue 1 this season and is befitting of the type of profile you'd expect from a Bale replacement: quick, proficient on both wings, a direct dribbler and capable of stunning moments of ingenuity.

The Gareth Bale situation 

Bale's homecoming was one of the most sensational transfer stories of the 2020 summer window, but the clamour surrounding his return to north London hasn't translated into a string of consistent performances. 

Jose Mourinho has been reluctant to start the Wales international on a regular basis but a recent flurry of four goals and two assists in five Premier League outings provided a timely reminder of what he's capable of in full flow. 

However, Bale made the headlines this week after admitting that he'll be returning to the Bernabeu at the end of his temporary contract with Spurs: "My plan is to go back, that's as far I have planned."

With that in mind, Spurs will need to enter the market in search of fresh attacking talent and Bamba is a player who carries a strong weight of appeal. 

What's been said about Bamba? 

Spurs Jonathan Bamba transfer news

The 19-cap France youth international has scored seven goals and provided nine assists across all competitions in what has been a glowing 2020/21 season so far. 

Back in November 2020, Lille manager Christophe Galtier gushed over his return to top form before pinpointing his work-ethic as one of his defining qualities.

"He works very hard. There’s everything that you can see, but he also works incredibly hard behind the scenes to make sure he is at his best."

For a manger like Mourinho, who appears to endorse the determination and work rate of the collective over individual talent, that quote from Galtier firmly suggests that Bamba would be an ideal fit for Spurs. 

Following in Nicolas Pepe's footsteps 

Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal signed Nicolas Pepe for £72m on the back of a highly impressive season at Lille, and Bamba could be the latest goal-scoring winger from the North France outfit to make a high-profile switch to north London. 

Bamba, however, hasn't been quite as prolific as the Ivory Coast international was during his final season in France. 

Pepe managed to score a whopping 22 goals and provide 11 assists in 38 league matches, whereas Bamba has mustered six and nine respectively from eight fewer outings thus far. 

That gulf in output should help Spurs secure their target at a more reasonable price on the negotiating table, and Bamba's current Transfermarkt valuation of £22.5m suggests that they won't be fleeced like their local rivals were in 2019.

Lille are just three points adrift of Paris Saint-Germain in a four-way race for the Ligue 1 title this season.

If Bamba can inspire them to topple the perennially dominant capital outfit, then Spurs might just struggle to convince him to make the switch this summer.

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