Soldado is the missing piece of Tottenham jigsaw

Roberto Soldado

Tottenham are claimed to be applying pressure on Valencia to try and sign star striker Roberto Soldado.

There are many strands to the Roberto Soldado to Tottenham story, most interestingly that director of football Franco Baldini is in Spain trying to negotiate a deal.

Spurs would have to break their transfer record, set earlier this summer when they bought Paulinho for £17 million, but Valencia's manager hinted last night that only meeting the striker's €30 million release clause (£26 million) was likely to cut it.

So the negotiating stand-off is likely to persist, and could all come to nothing like the club's pursuit of Alvaro Negredo in January.

But you might imagine the club have learned their lesson from that miss, and have their hearts set on pulling out the stops this time around.

It would be with good reason. Tottenham are a top class striker away from being a team that can not only finish in the top four, but hold aspirations even higher than that.

Every area of the club's team is filled with players of high quality, from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, to their collection of central defenders, including the impressive Jan Vertonghen.

At full-back, Benoit Assou Ekotto's commitment remains uncertain while Kyle Walker still has room to improve, but in leaving the pair as they are, Spurs are well set at present, with Danny Rose and Kyle Naughton deputies with points to prove.

In midfield is where it gets really exciting for Spurs. They have an embarrassment of riches so much so that two men, Tom Huddlestone and Scott Parker, deemed good enough for England over the past 12 months, are widely regarded as surplus to requirements.

New signings Nacer Chadli and Paulinho will add to the mix of Dembele and Sandro, with Sigurdsson and Holtby likely to push to make their cases substantially this coming season.

In Gareth Bale the club have a genuine superstar, while Aaron Lennon when fit is a big threat himself too. Finding further cover for him should also be on the club's priority list.

Throw in a talented and blossoming youth system and things are looking very good for Spurs, especially if they can land Soldado.

The real missing part of the jigsaw is up front, with Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor proving over the past two seasons they will have their moments and contribute, but need help, seriously so.

Soldado will be a record signing for them, but they would be buying real quality, in a 28-year-old striker approaching his peak who has plenty to offer, and fight for, with a World Cup spot next summer up for grabs.

Strikers who have netted more than 20 goals over the past four seasons do not come on the market very often, but that is exactly the record Soldado brings to the table, with 30 in 2012/13.

His signing can elevate Tottenham's self-confidence and adjust their ambitions. Indeed there might just be some jealous looks from the red and white side of North London if they can get their man before the Gunners sign a big name striker of their own.

image: © Victor Gutierrez Navarro

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