When Tottenham Hotspur signed Rodrigo Bentancur for £15.9m back in the January transfer window – a player who had started just 13 Serie A fixtures for Juventus in the first half of the 2021/22 campaign – there would have been few Spurs supporters who would have predicted that the 25-year-old would become one of Antonio Conte’s key players by the end of the season.
However, this is exactly how it panned out for the central midfielder, featuring in all but one of Tottenham’s Premier League fixtures following his arrival at the club last winter – with his one absence a result of an ankle injury – and turning in a number of exceptional performances in the process.
Indeed, over his 17 Premier League appearances in 2021/22, the Uruguay international registered four assists and created six big chances for his teammates, in addition to completing an average of 53.3 passes – at a success rate of 90% – winning 2.1 tackles, making 1.2 interceptions, completing 0.9 key passes and winning 4.9 duels – at a success rate of 53% – per game.
These returns saw the midfielder, who Martin Charquero dubbed “sensational“, average a rather remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.24, not only ranking him as Conte’s third-best performer in the league but also as the 23rd-best player in the top flight of English football as a whole.
The £75k-per-week talent, also dubbed a “Rolls-Royce midfielder” by South American football expert Tom Robinson, has been in similarly fine form so far this season, averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.00 over his five Premier League fixtures, as well as a rating of 7.10 over his two outings in the Champions League.
As such, it is no surprise that Tottenham insider John Wenham revealed his disbelief at the fact that Fabio Paratici managed to land the £35m-rated midfielder for as little as he did back in January, stating in an interview with Football Insider earlier this month:
“Bentancur came back in [against Fulham] and he was the best player on the park, for me. You noticed how much we missed him in that West Ham game. Just how calm and composed he is on the ball. He does really good pressing and defensive work.
“We just look a much better outfit when he is in the side. I can’t actually believe we got him for £16m on the back of winning three straight Scudettos – it was phenomenal business. We already have a £50m player there who is only going to get better.”
Indeed, considering the fact that Bentancur already has a market valuation that is 120% more than the £15.9m he cost Spurs a little under eight months ago, it is not difficult to see why Wenham appears so pleased with his club’s deal for the Uruguayan – as, considering how impressive he has been so far for Spurs, Paratici looks to have struck gold on the 25-year-old sensation.