It doesn’t look as though Liverpool are going to mount a late push to sign the prolific forward, contrary to reports yesterday, which means Tottenham should be free to focus on securing a very experienced and talented front man.
The benefits of Soldado’s arrival for the club are huge and he offers Andre Villas-Boas plenty of different options when it comes to how he wants to form the attack of his side heading into important matches next season.
One of the biggest questions he’ll already have in the back of his mind will be the best way to use Soldado alongside Gareth Bale, the stand out attacking player at White Hart Lane last season.
Soldado is being brought in as a centre forward, a number nine and to do all of the things that made him such a productive striker at Valencia.
Soldado will play right at the very top of the attack because that’s a role and position, which should allow him to utilise all of his natural attributes as a striker.
He’s superb at pinning the opposition defence back because his pace is still very high despite the fact he’s now 28-years-old. He’s also very good at playing on the shoulder when an opposition decides to play a higher defensive line.
His presence in attack effectively allows AVB to use Gareth Bale in any way he sees fit, whether that’s playing the Welshman as a winger or playing him as a number ten in behind Soldado.
The Spaniard is good enough to create masses of space for Bale to utilise in the pocket between the opposition’s midfield and defence, which is how the two will probably be most effective.
The majority of Bale’s man of the match performances last season came when he’d played from a central position with Emmanuel Adebayor, Jermain Defoe and Clint Dempsey all being able to push the defence back.
There will be matches where AVB can’t afford to play both of them together in attack and that’s where Bale will switch to his winger position, whether that’s down the left or the right of the team.
Playing down the left allows Bale to beat the full back, making the most of his pace before trying to set up a chance for Soldado while playing down the right provides him with the option of cutting back inside and taking shots with that left foot.
Only expect to see that sort of system when Spurs are playing bigger sides away from home or at points in the Europa League because otherwise, there’s no point breaking up a duo which could go on to form the most productive relationship in the Premier League next season.
What do you think? How should Bale and Soldado play together?
image: © Victor Gutierrez Navarro