Tottenham's derided 'X-Factor' proving worth the gamble

Clint Dempsey 2

Clint Dempsey was the wildcard signing made by Tottenham in the transfer window. He is after all proving a worthwhile addition.

There was no big name striker arriving at Tottenham last summer, with Emmanuel Adebayor signing permanently, that was as good as it got for Spurs.

Perhaps to supplement that, Spurs made a final hour deadline day move for Clint Dempsey, an attacker capable of playing up front, out wide or behind the striker, who had scored more than 20 for Fulham in all competitions the previous year.

Despite that track record, and being voted fourth in the 2011/12 PFA Player of the Year Award votes by his peers, he failed to win over fans early on at the Lane.

The American admitted he struggled to adapt to manager Andre Villas-Boas' system, and after missing an important League Cup penalty against Norwich he took a fair bit of flak.

The £7 million addition was even seen as a bit of panic buy by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, and the player would likely be the first to admit his form has not been great.

He was seen very much as Tottenham's wildcard signing of the transfer window, the one who would give them a bit of unpredictability when it counts.

And as the season reaches it's climax, it's hard to argue he has not been just that.

He has been nowhere near as prolific as for Fulham last season; his goal against Manchester City yesterday was just his sixth in the league, but what he does have is a knack of popping up and scoring in the big games, when it matters the most.

Dempsey hit Spurs' winner at Old Trafford in a 3-2 win earlier in the season, and also contributed an equaliser against the Red Devils at White Hart Lane. Four points he directly contributed to the Spurs cause right there.

In a campaign where every point counts with the battle for the top four tighter than ever, he is beginning to come into his own at the crunch stage of the season.

He helped turn the game against Manchester City on it's head, scoring the equaliser to spark a match-winning comeback in a victory which will help re-ignite Tottenham's season.

Dempsey stepped up by scoring two for Spurs in their last outing against Basel in the Europa League, and had it not been for his side's penalty embarrassment, he would have been hailed the hero.

It appears as though the American is growing with confidence and looking settled, and as the season reaches the end - don't bet against him playing an even more decisive part and making his signature look like an inspired piece of business after all.

What do you think of Dempsey's contribution and form?

image: © NathanF

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