Nacer Chadli is not a striker - however, his transfer to Tottenham provides another goalscoring threat alongside Gareth Bale, especially considering the new 4-3-3 formation at White Hart Lane.
In 33 appearances last year, he tallied 17 goals, a very respectable number. He has great ability and control with the ball, as he can shoot free kicks and beat defenders inside. While maybe not the best at creating opportunities for others, his style is a nice foil to Aaron Lennon.
Critics of the move are quick to point out that Tottenham still has not signed a reliable striker, and have let several slip through their fingers, such as Christian Benteke and Leandro Damiao.
They also point out that there is plenty of depth in the other positions and that Chadli further congests these. Lastly, Twente does not really have the talent of Premier League teams, and his success there might not translate.
However, all of these fears are unfounded, as this transfer (for £7m) is a bargain, and one that will certainly benefit Tottenham.
It is true that Chadli is not a striker and hasn't played in that position. However, what Tottenham needs is a consistent goal-scoring threat, and Chadli provides that. He can shoot free kicks (Bale's left foot and his right is a scary combination) and his size, strength, and leaping ability make him a good header of the ball, something that was missed in the side the past year.
He and Lennon have different roles and depending on the situation, either could be effective. Chadli is a goal-scoring threat who fits in perfectly with Bale and the new formation. Regardless of whether he's a striker, he provides a second consistent threat for Tottenham.
Tottenham has a stacked midfield; there's no denying that. And certain players like Clint Dempsey and Gylfi Sigurdsson will see less playing time because of this addition. However, Chadli does not "crowd" the midfield.
He is first and foremost, an attacking winger, one who fits seamlessly into a 4-3-3. Others like Lennon, Dempsey, and Sigurdsson haven't played in that exact position (even if Lennon played close to it) and Chadli will have a relatively short adjustment time. He provides someone who can immediately step into the left or right-winger role, without having to be taught anything about it.
Lastly, the Dutch league may include teams like Ajax and PSV, but those teams aren't as good as the Manchester clubs or Chelsea. They just don't have the assets. However, even if he didn't play at the top level in the Eredivisie, Chadli has had competition against the best, and when he has, he's shown up.
Playing in the Champions League three years ago, he scored at White Hart Lane with a brilliant free-kick, one of three goals in five starts in the competition. Last year in the Europa League, he had a very impressive six goals in nine starts. Tottenham could use that type of production in this year's competition, as they struggled to score when Bale wasn't playing. Dempsey, Dembele, and even the absent-minded and underwhelming Emmanuel Adebayor made valuable contributions, but no one could put together consistent scoring runs aside from Bale. Chadli can.
Chadli's addition to Tottenham was a great find by Daniel Levy and will benefit them for seasons to come. His experience in the 4-3-3 system as a winger will give them another scoring option, even if the striker gap needs to be filled. And against good competition, he performs under the lights. So under the lights of White Hart lane, expect him to help Tottenham do what they couldn't last year.
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