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Tottenham pursue "new Neymar" to rectify goal shortage

Could Santos' young forward Neilton provide a solution?

Tottenham's struggles in front of goal have been a hot topic this last week. A series of narrow 1-0 wins, with the goal often coming from the penalty spot culminated in the 0-0 away to Everton that really seemed to incite everyone to take aim at the North Londoner's attacking prowess.

Currently favouring Spaniard Roberto Soldado up front, and with Jermain Defoe in reserve, many have argued Spurs have missed the variance more suited to their style of play.

Employing "inside forward wingers," who cut inside rather than get to the byline, and favouring pressing players centrally, who lack that killer through ball tendency, Tottenham could perhaps benefit from a target man to play off, or an attacker that favours creative brilliance over penalty box guile.

It is no surprise then that the club are being linked with a plethora of forwards ahead of January's transfer window. With out of favour striker Emmanuel Adebayor almost certain to leave, despite possessing some of the qualities boss Andre Villas-Boas may be able to utilise, there is room for at least one attacker to come in.

One of the names mentioned is currently following in the footsteps of Brazillian star Neymar. Nineteen-year-old Neilton only made his debut in this year's Brazilian Championship, but already there are whispers that the South American giants have another potential superstar on their hands.

Ironically, it has been the sale of Neymar to Barcelona that allowed his young pretender to come into the first team, and Neilton has responded with four goals in thirteen impressive performances. This week the Daily Express reported that the youngster could be set for a move to White Hart Lane after talks to extend his contract, which ends in the summer, stalled. Tottenham's interest resulted in a £7 million bid last summer that was refused, and Neilton may be available for much less if he still hasn't put pen to paper by January.

What the diminutive young Brazilian would provide that Spurs appear to be lacking, is an inventive goal threat from the second striker position. Neilton possesses outstanding dribbling and close control, and is not afraid to burst into the area via the embarrassment of a defender or two. Playing in front of a midfield likely to be Brazil's first choice partnership at next year's World Cup in Paulinho and Sandro, may also attract him to London.

Whether Neilton is ready to step into the Spurs eleven at such a tender age is a matter for debate, with regular first team football surely the most important thing for his development. But if he does in fact blossom into a player half that of Santos's former number 11, then maybe he's worth taking a risk on.

image: © hollidaypics

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