Tottenham Hotspur's impressive win over Swansea at the weekend came courtesy of a goal and an assist from both Gareth Bale and Jan Vertonghen. Bale's attacking quality is well known, with the Welshman having his best season yet after moving into a central attacking role, but it is worth noting that the weekend's striker was Jan Vertonghen's fourth since the turn of the year.
In that period, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe have contributed two goals between them, with the English striker yet to find the net this calendar year. Whilst the side has mostly been able to maintain their threat by relying on Bale's incredible form, it is clearly unhelpful to be unable to count on their two senior strikers for goals.
So far Villas-Boas has backed Adebayor and Defoe, rotating the two of them in the hope that one will suddenly find their touch in front of goal. However this is yet to happen, and with a crucial run of matches coming up in their quest for a top four place Spurs cannot afford to be so profligate with their chances.
One striker at the club who has been in excellent form all year is Shaq Coulthirst, the 18 year old forward who rose to prominence after a hat trick away at Barcelona in the NextGen competition. Coulthirst has been hitting the net regularly in that tournament as well as in the U21 Premier League, where Spurs are well clear of their rivals in the Elite Group Stage.
Coulthirst made the bench for Tottenham’s recent loss at Liverpool, and has also travelled with the squad at times in the Europa League. Given the continuing poor form of Adebayor and Defoe, Coulthirst should be considered for a role in the first team.
This Thursday sees Spurs welcome Basel to White Hart Lane for the first leg of their Europa League quarter final. If Coulthirst can find a place on the bench for that match, he should be given time on the pitch to see if he is ready to place in the senior side. Spurs are going to find it tricky to finish in a Champions League place if they cannot find a striker to outscore their centre back.
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