Tottenham's striker search continues
With David Villa joining Atletico Madrid, who should Tottenham turn to in their hunt for a striker?
When reports suggested a deal to bring David Villa to White Hart Lane was close, Spurs fans were excited at the prospect of the Barcelona front-man strutting his stuff at White Hart Lane.
But as the last 24 hours have proved, a lot can change in football.
Just as it looked like Spurs were about to solve their striker problem and bring in Spain’s all-time leading goalscorer, Atletico Madrid pounced to steal his signature from right under their nose.
So the search continues. But who can Spurs attract to The Lane to wear the number nine jersey, last worn by Roman Pavlyuchenko before his departure in January 2012?
The phrase 'Tottenham need a striker' has got to be one of the biggest understatements of this year’s summer transfer window. Despite starting the 2012/13 season in good form, Jermain Defoe finished the season with just 11 Premier League goals.
Not an awful tally, but not enough for the main striker at a club chasing that elusive fourth spot and a seat at Europe’s top table - the UEFA Champions League.
As for Emmanuel Adebayor - after starting the season on the bench and having it interrupted by the opportunity to represent his country at the Africa Cup of Nations, he scored just five Premier League goals all season, looking a shadow of his former self.
With the battle for a Champions League spot looking the most open in years, surely Daniel Levy will have to do what many believe he should have done in January - buy a top-class striker to spearhead Tottenham’s push to bring top level European football back to White Hart Lane, come the 2014/15 campaign.
But the question is, who can he get? The purchase of David Villa looked like the perfect fit, but if Spurs are still in the Spanish market, they could do a lot worse than bringing in Roberto Soldado, just back from playing a part in Spain’s run to the Confederations Cup final.
Having also scored 24 goals in La Liga last season, Soldado could be the natural goalscorer Spurs fans have been crying out for. However, the fee he would command could be a stumbling block. Valencia reportedly want £25 million for the Spanish striker, and although Levy has gained a reputation for being a hard bargainer, this could be just a step too far for the Tottenham chairman.
Spurs could be faced with a similar problem with Soldado’s fellow countryman Alvaro Negredo, should they look to prise him away from Sevilla. A bit closer to home, Christian Benteke has been strongly linked with a move away from Villa Park, but again, the fee Villa would command would be more than Levy is willing to pay.
So the question is, if Levy refuses to pay ‘top dollar’ for a top striker, what is the alternative? I believe the answer could be just across London in the form of Demba Ba.
A proven goalscorer at Premier League level and with Chelsea repeatedly linked with other strikers, Ba could find himself surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge. So could Ba be the answer to Tottenham fans prayers? Have your say in the comments box provided!
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