Tottenham Hotspur finalizes transfer of Étienne Capoue from Toulouse

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Promising French prospect Étienne Capoue signed for Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday after courting him for several weeks. The deal was initially reported a week ago, but the club formally announced it today.

The 25-year-old can play holding midfield or center back, and he also scored 13 goals in 174 appearances over six years with the Ligue 1 side. Capoue’s first game for the French senior national team, exactly a year before signing for Tottenham in a 0-0 tie with Uruguay, was also head coach Didier Deschamps’ first match in charge.

Capoue was also linked with Cardiff City this summer, who reportedly reached an agreement to sign him from Toulouse but could not agree to contract terms. The reason so many were after his signature is his dynamic play: he has the touch and vision of a midfielder and the defensive abilities of a center back, where he has also played.

With Tottenham a little thinner in the back than in midfield, that’s where Capoue could break into the starting lineup soonest. Injuries to Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson this preseason have left Spurs scrambling to find cover ahead of its opening day matchup with Crystal Palace. Frenchman Younès Kaboul is also still out injured.

A move for Steaua Bucharest center back Vlad Chiricheș fell through after being very near completion, leaving Spurs very thin in the middle of defense for the time being.