Tottenham Focus – Nacer Chadli: Red Devil to Lilywhite

Tottenham added to their contingent of Belgians in July with the signing of Nacer Chadli from FC Twente for a fee of £7m. Spurs were apparently taking a small gamble on a player who had suffered with injuries the previous season. However, his form for The Tukkers would suggest this is a gamble worth taking.

Chadli came to prominence in 2009 when he stole the show in a cup match for AGOVV Apeldoorn against Ajax; the following summer several Eredivisie clubs showed interest but it was Twente captured his signature.

In his first season with the reigning Dutch champions, Chadli formed part of an exciting attacking line-up alongside Luuk de Jong, Bryan Ruiz and Marc Janko. Twente would go onto lift the KNVB Cup whilst unluckily missing the league title on the last day of the season. Whilst the next two seasons were hampered by injuries, Chadli still had a reasonable return of 25 goals in 84 appearances for Twente. Perhaps his importance to the team is highlighted by the fact they won 65% of the games he appeared in compared to 25% without him.

Chadli is not blessed with the same turn of pace seen with the departed Gareth Bale or Aaron Lennon, but the Belgian/Moroccan has a high technical ability, vision and power, abilities that can arguably be attributed to learning his football in the streets – Chadli grew up in the same area of Liege as Christian Benteke and Axel Witsel, all three of whom represented Belgium against Scotland on Friday.

Chadli is rated highly by his Belgium national coach Marc Wilmots, who said: “I really like the player Nacer Chadli. I can use him as a winger or as a central attacking midfielder. He also has the right mentality. Chadli is a player that I will always pick when he is fit.” High praise indeed, considering the number of options available to Wilmots with Belgium’s latest golden generation.

Chadli’s abilities and versatility may have been behind Andr

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