Football News

Spurs linked with move to hijack Chelsea-linked winger: “I see similarities to Neymar”

By CJ Smith

It looks like Spurs could hijack Chelsea's move for the 'Norwegian Neymar'

Published: 16:27, 19 January 2024

Tottenham are in talks with Club Brugge over a deal for Norwegian starlet Antonio Nusa, according to reports.

The 18-year-old winger is already making waves both at club and national team level, hitting six goals and four assists in 62 appearances across all competitions since joining Brugge from Stabæk in 2021. That tally includes a goal in a 4-0 win against Porto in the Champions League that made Nusa the youngest player in history to score on their debut in the competition (17 years and 149 days old).

Nusa — also eligible to represent Nigeria — already has four senior caps for Norway, as well, scoring on his debut there in a 6-0 friendly win against Jordan in August 2023.

Chelsea were understood to have made an approach for Nusa last summer, with the teenager staying put on that occasion having only signed a new contract as recently as April that keeps him in Belgium until at least 2027.

But now, it’s London rivals Tottenham who are at the forefront, with the Athletic reporting that Spurs are in talks with Brugge over Nusa.

Tottenham have been keen to strengthen in forward areas this January after losing star striker Harry Kane to Bayern Munich over the summer, while Son Heung-min is on duty at the Asia Cup with South Korea. Germany international Timo Werner has already arrived on loan from RB Leipzig this month.

It’s understood that Brugge are looking for a €30m fee for Nusa, whom they would be keen to keep on loan for the rest of the 2023/24 campaign as part of the deal.

How good is Antonio Nusa?

A right-footed winger playing from the left, Nusa has already proven himself an incredibly exciting talent thanks to his dribbling and creativity, averaging 5.06 successful dribbles and 2.21 key passes per 90 minutes in the Belgian top-flight this season so far. The former stat places him at least 2.20 clear of any other Club Brugge player.

In fact, the teenager has been turning heads everywhere he’s played so far and would arrive in the Premier League with a seal of approval from the captain of Spurs’ north London rivals Arsenal.

“Fantastic! He is an incredibly exciting player,” Martin Odegaard said of his compatriot after Nusa’s two-assist performance in Norway’s 2-1 Euro 2024 qualifying win over Georgia in September.

“You see it every time he gets the ball, it’s exciting. He is still young and will get even better. It was cool to see him. He deserved to get the chance that he takes to such an extent. Incredibly cool.”

Don’t be surprised to hear Nusa dubbed the ‘Norwegian Neymar’ in the coming months and years. That’s according to the assessment of his former Stabæk teammate, Mats Solheim.

“I can see similarities to Neymar in Nusa’s movements and in the way he uses the ball,” he said, adding: “There is still a small gap between them, but he can get there.”

Nusa himself named Neymar as his inspiration, saying two years ago: “Neymar is my role model because he creates chaos on the pitch with his dribbling, just like me. He is one of the best in the world.”

Should Nusa fulfil his potential, he could form the next piece in what is quickly becoming a formidable Norwegian attack alongside Odegaard, Erling Haaland and Oscar Bobb.