For several years now, the scouts have tipped Nahitan Nandez for a big move, and it seems that the summer of 2021 may be his time.
The Cagliari man is being chased by Tottenham Hotspur, who see Nandez as a potential replacement for Moussa Sissoko, but there is also interest from Serie A champions Inter to wrestle with.
Here’s everything you need to know about Nandez.
Nahitan Nandez with a beautiful finish! ?
Cagliari doubling their lead against Sampdoria’s 10-man? pic.twitter.com/kF8knUZoCs
– Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) November 7, 2020
The most common description of Nandez is “box-to-box midfielder”, and he will play that role no matter where he is placed on the pitch.
Nandez has mainly been a central midfielder and has played in attack and even played as a back, with his bosses always convinced that his eternal endurance will make him dangerous in all positions.
However, he is more than just a bundle of energy; he is a skilled passer and is brilliant at advanced games – but his constant running is what sets him apart from the rest.
A pissed kiss! Impeccable lujo de Nahitan Nandez ??
?? Uruguay? Chile ?? #VibraElContinente #VibraOContinente pic.twitter.com/dHoofSZewR
– Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 21, 2021
Nandez actually gives a fairly similar style of play to N’Golo Kante. Although he is known for his high pressure and defensive endurance, he is actually much better on the ball than some give him credit for.
When restoring possession, Nandez is smart enough to choose the right pass to get his side moving forward, but he is comfortable driving forward with the ball at his feet as well.
Nandez will never be an elite player or a prolific goal scorer, but he does not have to be. He’s probably doing somewhere else.
In a birthday message to Nandez in December 2020, Cagliari described his game perfectly.
They wrote: “He runs an average of more than 11 km per match. From the start of the whistle to the last, Nahitan Nandez never stops: an eternal movement, an explosion of adrenaline that shocks the whole team.
“He collects balls in series, plays them wisely: a concentration of quantity, quality and determination.”
Amague ➕ Garra charrúa ?? ➕ enganche sutil ➡️ Nahitan Nandez?
?? Bolivia? Uruguay ?? #VibraElContinente #VibraOContinente pic.twitter.com/QCCew709Gi
– Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 24, 2021
Nandez won over fans of Penarol, Boca Juniors and Cagliari with his rudeness and aggressiveness. Despite his small frame, you see him regularly fly into challenges and match with much larger midfielders.
He puts pressure on the opponents as soon as they get the ball and is not afraid to throw himself because he knows he has the flexibility to come back.
As you can imagine, Nandez gets the yellow cards pretty quickly, but he’s usually composed enough to avoid taking two in a game.
? A bombing of Nahitan Nandez in Belvedere?
Recall how did you end this game?
? Gentileza de Tenfield pic.twitter.com/S0X8BzkTYo
– PEÑAROL (@OficialCAP) February 24, 2021
Links between Nandez and England have been around for years. Leeds have followed him for an eternity and his agent confirmed his interest in going to the Premier League.
Nandez’s agent, Pablo Bentancur, told LUFCFANZONE that the midfielder “wants to play in England” and prioritises a switch to the Premier League over staying in Italy.
In the same interview, Bentancur also revealed that a club is Nandez’s best destination …
“Our wish is to play in England; if it is with Leeds United it would be much better!” Bentancur continued.
“Cagliari President Tommaso Giulini and Andrea Radrizzani are very close friends and have already spoken. It is in the goodwill of these two presidents to close the operation.
“Nahitan already wanted to sign with Leeds and Bielsa when he was at Boca. England is more his type of football and Leeds would be perfect because of the style of play and because the player grows and becomes important under pressure.”
Nandez teamed up with Uruguayan Diego Godin at Cagliari 2020, and the former Atletico Madrid and Inter defender did not hide his joy at competing with his compatriot.
– I have known Nandez since 2014, he is a friend, we play in a national team that has values, he says to the club’s official website.
“His strength is his heart, he leaves everything on the field. He has physical strength, he can play on the outside like a mezzala. Give it space to run.”
Nandez idolizes Riquelme / LatinContent / Getty Images
Nandez grew up in South America and had lots of superstar talents to adore, but the man sitting on top of his football throne is Argentina and Boca legend Juan Roman Riquelme.
Nandez admitted to Fox Sports that he dreamed of imitating Riquelme at Boca, and the legendary former midfielder has even admitted that he was impressed with Nandez at his old club.
“I see him as a midfielder, but you have to ask him where he thrives!” Riquelme told TyC Sports. “He played well as a winger the other day but I see him as a midfielder.”