£26m Tottenham striker overlooked for Arsenal transfer target

Roberto Soldado

Fernando Llorente is in the Spain squad, after Diego Costa pulled out injured. Meanwhile, Roberto Soldado stays at home once again.

The Spanish Football Federation have been causing ructions between themselves and their Brazilian counterparts recently, after once again calling on a Brazilian to help them in their bid for glory.

When Spain called up Marcos Senna back in 2006 the officials for Selecao were not entirely bothered about missing out on an ageing holding midfielder. When his combative displays formed the solid basis for Spain’s tiki-taka revival to dominate Europe in 2008 heads likely rolled in Brazil.

So they certainly did not want to see a similar scenario happening again, especially with a World Cup on the horizon in their own back garden.

But that is exactly what is going to happen with Diego Costa. The Atletico Madrid forward has replaced Radamel Falcao at the Vicente Calderon with absolute aplomb - scoring 16 goals in 17 appearances for Los Colchoneros. Now Spain have managed to convince Costa to turn his back on his homeland - on order to represent the nation in which he has lived since 2007.

He was called up to his first Spain squad of his career last week, ahead of friendlies against Equatorial Guinea and South Africa.

But he will not play, as he suffered a thigh injury against Villarreal this weekend gone.

So in Costa’s absence, two Premier Leage strikers would have been licking their lips and rubbing their hands in anticipation of a call-up from Vicente del Bosque, a call-up that never came.

Because the Spanish boss decided instead to go with Juventus striker, and Arsenal loan target, Fernando Llorente after his recent burst of good form.

Spurs striker Soldado has only scored one Premier League goal from open play this season, and despite his £26 million summer price-tag, has not quite won over the Spurs faithful just yet.

As for Torres, his injury problems give him a fairly good excuse as to why he didn’t receive a call-up.

Soldado has no such excuse. He suffers from perhaps, a playing style that does not suit his game - with wingers cutting in on goal rather than delivering a cross for him to get on the end of.

But now an Arsenal target, who himself has struggled this term, appears to be ahead of him in the pecking order for the World Cup.

For Soldado, he must start scoring goals soon, or risk staying at home next summer.

image: © Victor Gutierrez Navarro

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch