The last in the 2013-14 squad previews focuses on the vital area of the strikers. Lack of goals from the strikers was a major problem for Spurs last season and one of the contributory factors to the club missing out on fourth and a place in the Champions League. With the signing of Roberto Soldado from Valencia, Spurs have taken one step towards addressing that particular issue with the signing of another goalscoring forward expected in the next couple of weeks.
The New Boy
Roberto Soldado cost £26m as Spurs set a new transfer record to sign him from Valencia. The Spanish international striker showed enough in last weekend’s match against Espanyol to suggest that he will score the goals that Spurs needed so badly last season. His record in Spain with both Getafe and Valencia supports that view as he has accumulated 114 goals in the past 5 seasons. He is a natural goalscorer always looking to get onto the ball in the penalty area and get a strike at goal. He also drops back into midfield to link up play but having done that his first priority is then to get into the area. A confident player he stepped up and dispatched the penalty awarded to Spurs after 29 minutes of his first game.
Looking forward to the challenge of the Premier League, Soldado has set himself the target of 20 goals in the coming season. He was quoted in the Daily Mail, saying that in previous seasons he had set a target of 20 goals and always achieved it.
This season I am going to try my best from the first day to get back to scoring because they signed me because of this reason. My objective is to score more than 20 goals. With the help of my team-mates I can do it.
Soldado has been very positive about his move to Tottenham and is looking forward to the start of the Premier League.
Soldado: "I can’t wait to start official competition now and start helping Tottenham win, which is what we all want." #THFC
— Hotspur Related (@HotspurRelated) August 15, 2013
They Came Up Short
Jermain Defoe has moved to =7th on Tottenham’s all-time goalscoring list with 133 goals but if he had shown any form in the second half of last season he would have been in the top 5. He has scored only once in 2013 after a productive early part of the season. Often seen as an impact substitute, Andre Villas-Boas gave Defoe an opportunity at the start of the season. Defoe responded but injury and the loss of his goalscoring touch hampered him greatly from January on. Defoe has been loyal to Spurs over the years but if another striker arrives, he could be could be on his way out with Harry Redknapp known to want him at Loftus Road.
Emmanuel Adebayor, after a successful first year while on loan, was a major disappointment last season. It was only in the last few games of the season that he showed anything like his true form with an outstanding goal at Chelsea. With clubs known to be interested in him, if Adebayor can reach agreement with one of them, Tottenham would be happy to accept any reasonable offer for him. He missed much of preseason last summer and it showed in his performances throughout the year and worryingly he has again been out for sections of this year’s preseason training.
If Spurs don’t sign another striker, then one or both of Defoe and Adebayor could have another season at the Lane to provide cover in case of injury and for Cup and European games. Spurs will want to avoid the situation that arose last season where at times they had only one fit striker.
The Young Ones
Harry Kane has only just turned 20 years of age and has a tremendous record of goalscoring at Academy and Under-21 level. He is a very hard-working player but needs time out on loan to further his career. He was unfortunate that injury prevented him playing more for Norwich City last season and Spurs will have to find him a club at a level appropriate to his development where he will get the opportunity to play regularly.
Jonathan Obika scored regularly for the Under-21s last year and made two substitute appearances for Spurs in the Cup competitions. He was on loan at Charlton who are interested in signing him according to SkySports. The Charlton manager, Chris Powell said about Obika,
He is someone we have looked at and will continue to monitor.
With the on-going saga surrounding Gareth Bale, Tottenham have been very insistent in wanting the young Real Madrid striker, Alvaro Morata, if a deal is to be concluded. Spurs have also been linked with the Roma and Argentine striker Erik Lamela. If Tottenham were to secure his signing, it would probably require them to break their transfer record for a third time this summer. There have also been rumours of Tottenham interest in Jackson Martinez from Porto or Luis Suarez if the Bale transfer were to go through, according to the Sunday Times.
We have been very active in the transfer window – not just players coming in, but players going out. The ultimate objective is to make the team stronger than the year before…..We haven’t finished our business. We will continue to be active and hopefully have the team ready in the next few weeks.
Tottenham 2013-14 Squad Preview – Midfield
Tottenham 2013-14 Squad Preview - Central Defenders
Tottenham 2013-14 Squad Preview - Full Backs
Tottenham 2013-14 Squad Preview - Goalkeepers