The Englishman may not be an automatic starter for AVB but his cup goals are crucial.
Jermain Defoe may not be first choice to lead the line for Spurs in the Premier League but he is second to none when it comes to finding the net in cup competitions – something AVB appears to be increasingly aware of.
The 30-year-old’s cup calibre was on display for all to see at Villa Park this week, with the England international grabbing a brace to make it four goals in less than a week.
In truth, events had a strange feeling of déjà vu for Defoe, who failed to feature in the Premier League for a second game running, only to go out in midweek and score in one of the club’s cup competitions.
Prior to his showing against Villa, Defoe had grabbed a brace and the headlines as the North Londoners made a positive start to their Europa League campaign with a win over Tromso at White Hart Lane.
And while new boys Robert Soldado and Erik Lamela continue to block the England international’s route to a first-team return in the Premier League, Defoe’s cup record suggests AVB may be wise in saving the Spurs forward for their non-domestic league endeavours.
Currently the club’s fifth highest-ever scorer with 139 goals, it’s important to note that 49 of these strikes have come in cup competitions which equates to over one in every three goals scored by Defoe, and points to his penchant for impressive displays in knock-out cup football.
It’s a preference that could prove useful while AVB beds in new big-money striker Roberto Soldado.
The former Valencia man arrived in North London amid much hype, but aside a few penalties and some tap-ins to boot, the forward has yet to replicate the kind of form see at the Mestalla.
With Tottenham facing a minimum of seven additional cup games, Defoe has plenty of time to add to his tally, with the forward currently ranked as the team’s second highest ever goalscorer on the continent with 20 goals to his name.
Much of his success in front of goal could depend on the ongoing supply line provided by the Spurs midfield, with the team registering an impressive ten goals over their last four games, as AVB rotates between a total of ten different midfield options.
Defoe may not be a Premier League starter, but at this rate fans will be hoping he stays fit as the club goes in search of silverware and beyond.
image: © pahudson