It’s a well known fact that Tottenham Hotspur need to bring in a new striker this summer. Following the release of Louis Saha last month, the North London side have just Jermain Defoe, Harry Kane and Souleymane Coulibaly as their registered front-men. Spurs have been eager to secure the permanent signing of Emmanuel Adebayor, following his loan spell last season, but the deal appears to have hit the rocks.
The excessive wage demands of the Togolese star mean any deal looks likely to fall through, despite reports last month that Spurs and parent club Manchester City had agreed a £5m fee for Adebayor. However, his £175,000-a-week earnings is way above the budget at White Hart Lane, meaning the club are likely to miss out on the striker who netted 18 times and assisted 12 more for them last season.
However, missing out on Adebayor wouldn’t be the end of the world for Spurs. When the 28-year-old has a point to prove, he is one of the game’s most potent front-man. Yet, when nothing is riding on his performances, the former Arsenal star reverts back to his lazy, cumbersome self that has become evident in recent years. There are better strikers around that Spurs can afford than Adebayor, they just need to hunt them down.
Yet, when nothing is riding on his performances, the former Arsenal star reverts back to his lazy, cumbersome self that has become evident in recent years
Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund)
Rumours were abound on Twitter recently that Spurs had struck a deal with Borussia Dortmund to sign Robert Lewandowski. While the reports proved to be dumfounded, it isn’t the first time that speculation has been rife linking the Poland international with a move to the North London side. However, the reported £30m price-tag may be enough to throw Spurs off the scent.
An exceptional domestic campaign for Dortmund, where his 30 goals in all competitions saw the German side pick up the Bundesliga and German cup double last season. He reinforced his credentials as a top striker during Euro 2012, regardless of the co-hosts early exit from the competition.
His physical presence and prolificacy in the 18-yard box saw his credentials rise across Europe and after Manchester United secured the signing of Shinji Kagawa, it was hardly surprising to see them linked with a move for the 23-year-old. However, no move has materialised and while a host of European clubs have been credited with an interest in Lewandowski, it will take a big money bid to convince Dortmund to sell, seeing as the Polish star is their only striker on the books at present. However, the reported £30m price-tag may be enough to throw Spurs off the scent.
Jose Salomon Rondon (Malaga)
The Venezuela international is the latest forward to have been linked with a move to Spurs as they look to up their pursuit for a new striker. The ongoing financial difficulties with Malaga means Jose Salomon Rondon is expected to be sold this summer. The player himself admitted on Friday that a move would be possible as a result of the off-field problems.
His departure would be the second high profile exit from the La Liga outfit this transfer window, with midfielder Santi Cazorla expected to join Arsenal. Rondon, unfortunately, wouldn’t bring a prolific goalscoring record with him to White Hart Lane, having netted just 27 times in 72 appearances over the last two years.
However, his power up top is exactly what Spurs need, with Defoe hardly the greatest headerer in the world. Standing at just two inches shorter than Adebayor, Rondon could be exactly the target man the North London side need. The player himself admits that consistency isn’t his strongest attribute, something Rondon insists he is working on. Nevertheless, if he can learn to bury the easy chances, Spurs could have the prolific front-man to lead the line that they so desperately need.
Standing at just two inches shorter than Adebayor, Rondon could be exactly the target man the North London side need
Leandro Damiao (Internacional)
Spurs have been heavily linked with a move for the Brazilian in the past, and reports have begun to surface about a move for him for a third successive transfer window. Leandro Damiao is currently on national duty at the Olympics, where Brazil are overwhelming favourites to secure the gold medal. Leandro has been given the opportunity to showcase his capabilities to the watch world and he is yet to disappoint.
Currently with two goals to his name, the 23-year-old appears to be finally finding his feet on the international stage, having previously netted just once in nine appearances for the national side. However, it’s his club record that is most impressive, with the front-man scoring an impressive 70 goals in 115 appearances for Internacional; an impressive strike ratio of 80.5%.
Both clubs currently share a working relationship with one another, meaning any possible deal should be easier to strike, in theory. As it stands, no transfer is close to agreement, despite reports suggesting so. However, if Spurs are to secure Leandro, head coach Andre Villas-Boas will possess, in a similar vein to Lewandowski, the out and out striker that he currently needs to lead the front-line.
Roberto Soldado (Valencia)
The striker missed out on a place in Spain's Euro 2012 squad at the expense of Llorente and Alvaro Negredo as Fernando Torres’ understudy for the tournament. However, this is more down to the choice of tactics from head coach Vicente Del Bosque rather than the striker’s footballing capability.
The fact is; Soldado is a fearsome striker at both club and international level. Three goals in five appearances for La Roja, coupled with 52 goals in 95 appearances for Valencia in the past two years make it surprising that interest hasn’t been higher in the 27-year-old. Soldado is both capable of playing on the shoulder of the last defender or as the target man.
This versatility could become a real asset for Villas-Boas and Spurs, while his lack of playing time at the European Championship could be a blessing in disguise if they are to move for the striker. The two clubs come up against each in a pre-season friendly in Valencia later this month and while no deal I in the pipeline yet, Soldado could give a reason to chairman Daniel Levy as to why it should be.
Soldado is a fearsome striker at both club and international level, with three goals in five appearances for La Roja coupled with 52 goals in 95 appearances for Valencia in the past two years
Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao)
The Lion King has enjoyed a rather relaxed summer, despite picking up a Euro 2012 winner’s medal with Spain. But Fernando Llorente enjoyed his most prolific campaign with Los Leones to date, netting an impressive 30 goals as Athletic fought their way to the Europa League and Copa Del Rey final and secured a 10th place finish in La Liga.
Like Leandro, Llorente has been heavily linked with a move to Spurs in the past; with reports suggesting a deal was close last summer. However, speculation suggested that the North London side scoffed at the 27-year-old’s wage demands and any possible deal hit the rocks. Nevertheless, it isn’t surprising to see Spurs linked with a move for the Spaniard yet again this summer.
Llorente is the ideal target man; strong in the air, excellent with the ball at his feet, capable of bringing team-mates into play and prolific in front of goal. However, it is Athletic’s asking price that would scupper any possible deal, with the Basque outfit after a reported £30m for his signature. On top of that, the powerful front-man made a substitute appearance during Thursday’s 3-1 Europa League win over Slaven Belupo Koprivnica, rendering him cup tied should he depart San Mamés this summer.
However, he likes scoring wonder goals against Man United, something which has already endeared himself to the watching British fans.
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