The Spain international is on the verge of becoming the north London club’s record signing – money well spent?
Roberto Soldado will join Tottenham this summer if he passes a medical, in what is an ambitious piece of business by Andre Villas-Boas’ men. A club record transfer fee in excess of £26 million shows the Premier League outfit’s faith in the abilities of their new signing, especially given that he is 28 years old.
Despite the large transfer fee, Tottenham are signing one of Europe’s most predatory forwards – a player that has been desperately unlucky not to be in the limelight more often given his goalscoring track record.
The attacker started his career at Real Madrid, and scored against Olympiakos in his Champions League debut for the Santiago Bernabeu club. However, with regular first-team opportunities not forthcoming, Soldado had to move elsewhere to prove his worth.
Soldado’s goalscoring record at Osasuna and Getafe is excellent, however it has been since he moved to Valencia that he has really evolved into the rounded forward that he is today. 81 goals in 141 appearances for Los Che is an excellent return. The Spaniard hit 24 La Liga goals last term, a career best, in a team struggling to live up to former glories.
Tottenham’s over-reliance on Gareth Bale to get match-winning goals last season was evident, and Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe do not seem to provide the adequate firepower to get Spurs back in the top four. With Bale potentially leaving for Real Madrid, those goals need to be replaced, and Soldado is just the man to do it.
The 28-year-old fits into the stereotype of an out-and-out goalscorer – a man in your team to do one thing – hit the back of the net. Spurs fans have been crying out for the club to sign a sharpshooter with the ability to breach the 20-goal mark in the Premier League - they have just got one.
Soldado will offer a threat in behind, and has the ability in the air to trouble defences. His eye for goal has been proven, and although the Spaniard potentially won’t have Bale teeing up chances for him, he moves to a club with more attacking bite than what he has been accustomed to at the Mestalla over the last 12 months.
The striker has been desperately unlucky not to represent his country on more occasions than he has. Soldado has scored six times in 11 outings for La Roja, and was unfortunate to be overlooked for the Euro 2012 Spain squad.
Spurs fans will despair that Bale may well be on his way out of the club this summer, but in Soldado they have a player capable of filling the goal void the Welsh attacker leaves.
image: © Victor Gutierrez Navarro