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New Tottenham Signing Radu Dragusin Is An Upgrade On Eric Dier But "Not A Ball-Playing Defender"

Tottenham Hotspur completed the signing of 21-year-old defender Radu Dragusin from Genoa on Thursday.

The Romania center-back will wear the no.6 jersey at Spurs after penning a contract until June 2030.

According to ESPN, Spurs will pay Genoa an initial transfer fee of €25 million but that could eventually rise to €30m with add-ons.

Spurs also announced on Thursday that 23-year-old right-back Djed Spence will join Genoa on loan for the rest of the 2023/24 season.

Dragusin chose to move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium despite interest from Bayern Munich in Germany.

He has been one of the best central defenders in Italy's Serie A after helping Genoa win promotion from Serie B last season.

Dragusin was on loan from Juventus last season before Genoa paid around €6m to sign him on a permanent deal in July 2023.

His arrival at Spurs this week coincided with Eric Dier leaving London to join Bayern.

Dragusin's physical attributes should make him much more compatible with Ange Postecoglou's tactical ideals than Dier was.

The 6' 3" Romanian - who has been dribbled past just once in 19 Serie A games - is significantly faster than the Englishman and therefore should be more comfortable operating in a high defensive line.

However, Dragusin is arguably less of a ball-playing center-back than Dier and will likely have to improve this aspect of his game - as Postecoglou famously demands that his team play out from the back.

Dragusin is second in Serie A this season when it comes to clearances completed (87). But 27 center-backs have played more passes than him (686) in Italy's top division so far this term.

Italian football expert Mina Rzouki told Sky Sports this week that Dragusin is "not a ball-playing defender" but that he has significantly improved this aspect of his game since being encouraged to do so by Andrea Pirlo at Juve.

Rzouki said: "Let's start with the good stuff. He is an interesting character as straightaway when he was at Juventus and was handed his debut by Andrea Pirlo, what stood out was his size.

"He's so tall and has got great physique. It's really difficult to win a duel against him. He owns everything on an aerial level. He's very strong and aggressive in his type of defending.

"Pirlo wanted him to train with the first-team squad to improve his technique and what you see at Genoa is that he is now better on the ball.

"He's not a ball-playing defender and is not someone who is going to progress the ball on his own at the back, but he delivers a great long pass and it's also very difficult to dribble past him.

"He's not super fast but fast enough. He's going to be difficult to beat at set-pieces and he loves to score a goal."

Radu Dragusin pictured playing for Genoa against Bologna in January 2024

New Tottenham defender Radu Dragusin pictured playing in his final game for Genoa earlier this month