Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas will certainly be in the market for a top quality striker this summer. That has to be his priority as soon as the transfer window opens in July.
However, with only a handful of quality targets available for the kind of money Spurs have to spend, there are going to have to be tough choices made sooner or later.
At present Tottenham are linked with Leandro Damiao and David Villa – both are quality finishers, tricky customers and creative minds. Damiao would represent a choice for the future – at 23 years of age, the Brazilian is the more expensive option.
His valuation by current club Internacional is around £20 million or more and, as such, he would take a large chunk of the club’s transfer budget as Villas-Boas and Daniel Levy look to add depth and quality to the squad this summer to improve on 5th position in the Premier League next term.
For around half that fee Spurs could have David Villa, still the Spanish national team’s highest scorer with 88 caps and 55 goals for his country. Villa will almost certainly be offloaded by Barcelona this summer after just three years with the La Liga champions.
Injury limited his ability to compete for his position up front for the Catalans and after their disappointing 7-0 defeat on aggregate to Bayern Munich in this year’s Champions League, Tito Villanova will likely be making some sweeping changes to his squad before the new season.
Whilst Villa is the cheaper option, he’ll be turning 32 this year and after his leg break in 2011 he hasn’t quite returned to full form and fitness. There is no doubt about his exceptional quality – Barcelona paid €40 million to Valencia for his acquisition and he duly delivered on his promise.
Nonetheless, Villa is past his best – by no means is he past it – but he has entered the twilight of his career and can’t be expected to perform at the highest level for too much longer.
Villas-Boas may decide that, if David Villa’s not good enough for Barca, he’s surely not good enough fore Spurs either. But, at present Leandro Damiao is still in a developmental state. He’s made 16 appearances for Brazil to date but he will likely play his entire career in the shadow of Neymar.
In 2012 he scored 24 goals for Internacional but he’s yet to be tested in Europe and there must be reservations about how he would adapt to the Premier League which is, in many ways, the complete antithesis of the Brazilian Serie A.
Does Villas-Boas take a risk on Espana’s old-timer or does he put all his eggs in the Brazilian basket of unknown quantity? Neither option suits Tottenham’s requirements entirely and I would suggest Daniel Levy and co look elsewhere for their star striker.