Despite the pricey acquisition of Roberto Soldado for a then-club record fee of £26m, Tottenham Hotspur are struggling for goals having returned six from seven Premier League games to date.
With a ratio that is slightly below a one goal struck per game, Spurs find themselves in the same company as Hull City, Crystal Palace and Sunderland, however, what has kept them firmly in the top four hunt is their rigid rearguard and ability to find the win regardless.
Soldado's attacking nous should not be questioned, though. At Valencia, his total haul of 81 from 141 appearances in all competitions ranks amongst the elite. And, before that, he was a consistent 1:2 goal-scorer for Getafe. He has also netted seven from 12 for Spain.
What is disconcerting for manager Andre Villas-Boas has to be the glaring statistic that, of all Premier League participants this season, it is Tottenham who are the most wasteful in front of goal. The White Hart Lane side have, according to Opta, 'fired in the most shots in the Premier League this season' which works out as one goal scored per 22 shots.
It is a stark contrast to their striking form last season when, collectively, Spurs returned 66 goals from 38 games, a stat equal to Manchester City.
While Villas-Boas did welcome seven players worth a combined £105m to North London over the course of the summer window, the Portuguese's net-spend was £4.2m in the black as, with the transfer of Gareth Bale, combined with the cumulative remuneration from the exits of Steven Caulker, Clint Dempsey et al, Spurs received £109.2m in player sales.
Tottenham, therefore, could make secure further recruits in the winter market and sparingly-used Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez has been speculated as a viable target.
The Mexican, who helped his national side collect a vital three points over Panama on Saturday, has spoken of his desire for regular first-team football, telling Deportes Telemundo that: 'I strive for that. I am working towards that - earning a spot as a starter. I know that my performance on the pitch will allow me to achieve that goal someday either [in Manchester] or elsewhere for any other club.'
Valued by Transfermarkt at £19.5m, Tottenham could relieve Hernandez from his bit-part hell at United in January and, considering his form in the past year, together with his Premier League knowledge and experience, Chicharito could feasibly bolster Villas-Boas' front-line and goal differential in an instant.
131 - Tottenham Hotspur have fired in the most shots in the @premierleague this season. Peppering.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 14, 2013
In 1,482 minutes of combined Premier League and Champions League football, Hernandez has 52 shots (35 on target) and 13 goals. This is a shooting accuracy of 67% and a chance conversion rate of 25%. On goals alone, he scores once every 114 minutes on average.
image: © eschipul