Not short of wing-backs already, Tottenham Hotspur finally secured the signing of Pedro Porro (£5.0m) on deadline day.
In another one of those loan-with-obligatory-purchase deals, the Spaniard’s time in north London will be made permanent in a €45m (£39.7m) move this summer.
At least the Lilywhites have been able to balance this incoming right wing-back by loaning out Djed Spence (£4.1m) to Rennes and terminating Matt Doherty‘s (£4.6m) contract so he can join Atletico Madrid.
So can the 23-year-old Porro quickly establish himself as first choice and what impact will he have in FPL?
We’ll attempt to answer those questions below.
Porro made the breakthrough at Girona in the 2018/19 season, debuting in an opening weekend 0-0 draw with Valladolid – the side he went on to represent in the next campaign after Manchester City purchased his rights.
|2022/23||Sporting CP||Primeira Liga||12 (2)||2||6|
|2021/22||Sporting CP (loan)||Primeira Liga||19 (4)||4||4|
|2020/21||Sporting CP (loan)||Primeira Liga||30 (0)||3||2|
|2019/20||Valladolid (loan)||La Liga||7 (6)||0||0|
|2018/19||Girona||La Liga||25 (7)||0||4|
In fact, Porro never made an appearance for Pep Guardiola’s side, who subsequently sent him to Portuguese giants Sporting CP for two seasons.
The first year in Lisbon saw him start 30 times, guiding Sporting to their first league title in 19 years as well as scoring the winning goal in the Portuguese League Cup (Taça da Liga) final. They won the latter again last season and just lost its 2022/23 final at the weekend.
Sporting triggered the loan’s €8.5m (£7.2m) buyout clause over the summer, meaning they’re quickly made a big profit on Porro.
So far, this season has brought two goals and six assists from just 14 league matches. Porro further impressed new boss Antonio Conte when Sporting twice faced Spurs in the Champions League group stage.
According to WhoScored, Porro’s strengths lie in dribbling, crossing and tackling, typical attributes for someone in his position.
He gets forward whenever possible but has the positional sense not to leave silly gaps that can be exploited by opposition wingers.
In this season’s Primeira Liga, Porro leads the way for assists (six) and expected assists per 90 (0.41), whilst he is in second place for crosses (107).
Statistics obtained from FBref
One thing to raise here is his role at set plays. Around a quarter of the chances he created last season, for example, came from free-kicks and corners. He’ll have to fight Son Heung-min (£11.6m) and Ivan Perisic (£5.5m) for a role at dead-ball situations, so someone’s output may suffer as a consequence.
But arguably even more eye-catching is his Doherty-esque goal threat. A minutes-per-chance average of 29.9 in 2022/23 is a figure many strikers would be pleased with, and it’s a mean that is unsurprisingly better than any FPL defender can manage this season. Just over half of his efforts in the current campaign (19 of 36) have come from outside the area, however.
Again, he’s been prominent at direct free-kicks in Portugal and has even taken three penalties, something that Harry Kane (£11.7m) won’t relinquish.
Porro is fond of a yellow card or two, it has to be said: he has been booked in around one in six of his top-flight league appearances for Girona and Sporting.
WHERE PORRO FITS IN AT SPURS
Porro’s assist potential, combined with Spurs being ranked third for attempted crosses, is also promising news for Harry Kane (£11.7m) owners, whose 28 headed goal attempts are only bettered by Aleksandar Mitrovic (£7.0m).
Emerson Royal‘s (£4.9m) deliveries from the right flank often leave a lot to be desired, so an upgrade on the Brazilian in terms of chance creation ought to be a positive for Kane.
Right wing-back has been a problem position at Spurs for several years, ever since Kieran Trippier (£6.1m) was sold to Atletico Madrid in 2019.
Conte has been begging to sign someone with Porro’s quality and the struggles of the previous incumbents in this right-sided role has to be a good omen for his game-time, as does the exit of two potential positional rivals.
“Yes, I think it will be a very good thing for me, and that’s also why I was so struck by the prospect of playing here.
“I hope that’s just exactly how it turns out, and that everything goes very well, that’s the main thing, and here’s hoping we can start this next period (of the season) on the right foot and that it’ll be a great one for everyone.” – Pedro Porro when asked whether his experience at right wing-back will be a good fit for Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3
IS PORRO WORTH BUYING IN FPL?
Porro’s £5.0m price tag looks generous, with the departures of Doherty and Spence meaning there is just Emerson Royal to compete with at right wing-back.
Our Season Ticker shows that Spurs have a nice fixture run between Gameweeks 23 and 29, facing seven of the eight lowest-scoring teams since Gameweek 14.
However, the match at Southampton is likely to be postponed, with both sides still in the FA Cup and about to face lower-league opposition. If either progresses, Gameweek 28 will be a blank.
If Porro’s attacking tendencies pass the eye test, he could certainly be worth buying in FPL because there is a bit of a dearth of talent in the Fantasy defender pool of late.
Once Arsenal, Man City and Newcastle United are covered, there’s the realisation that Man United’s schedule worsens. Managers soon looking to sell Luke Shaw (£5.3m) may want to study Porro in closer detail.
There’ll still be the inevitable rotation of some degree, of course, something that we’ve frustratingly seen with Perisic and co already in 2022/23. Not one of Conte’s wing-backs has started more than 14 Premier League games this season, and between them, they’ve been substituted in on a combined 26 occasions.
Above: Spurs’ upcoming fixture run in all competitions, courtesy of @legomane_FPL
Expect attacking returns, the occasional double-digit haul, and maddening one-point cameos. Basically Perisic all over again, then, just for a cheaper outlay…