The stats that prove Tottenham HAVE to replace Defoe this January

Defoe

Tim Sherwood will be left with just two proven strikers at the club once the England international leaves - surely he needs more?

As Jermain Defoe enters the last couple of months of his Tottenham career, the club are faced with the very real prospect of finishing the season woefully understaffed up top.

Tim Sherwood has already said that there is no urgency to find attacking reinforcements despite Defoe's move. The striker will be remaining at the club until late February, at which point Spurs will have just Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor up front, with Harry Kane as backup.

According to Sherwood, this is sufficient and is supplemented by the ability of midfielders such as Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela and Gylfi Sigurdsson to threaten playing off the strikers.

However, no midfielder has scored more than three goals for the North Londoners this season, and once Defoe leaves, with over a third of the season remaining, Spurs will be considerably short of forward options if they find themselves in a tight spot.

Looking at the striking statistics, it is clear to see that Defoe has still been a valuable squad player, and that a Tottenham group without him have to strengthen.

Emmanuel Adebayor is the form player in Tottenham's forward line, with four goals in seven games (510 minutes).

Roberto Soldado has 10 in 21 games, although five of those have come via the penalty spot. Additionally, the Spaniard has featured the most, with 1740 total minutes on the pitch.

Defoe has nine in 21 games, though none in the Premier League. The Englishman has not had so many minutes though, with just 1171 total and 396 in the league. 

Harry Kane has scored just once in six matches, although all of those games have been substitute appearances.

Defoe's strike-rate is outstanding. In minutes, that is roughly a goal every game and a half - excellent goal-scoring statistics whoever he is playing against; and the question is, would Kane still provide those goals against the same opposition?

Even if Defoe has just been playing in the cups, he has still proved to be a successful option while giving the other forward players a rest.

The club have already looked like they were lacking a quality striker this season, with Soldado struggling to find his feet in the Premier League. Once Adebayor was reintroduced to the side this need was reduced somewhat, but given his fitness niggles, he is still liable to miss the odd game or two. He is also one of the most famously temperamental players around.

Sherwood's preference to play two up front in every game increases the likelihood of injuries, suspensions and a need to be able to bring in someone who can offer something different to these two forwards. 

For a team that had over £100 million to spend on players in the summer to have just two recognised strikers for the business-end of that season leads to questions over both management and planning.

However promising Kane looks, he is not yet at a sufficient level to step in for Adebayor or Soldado for an extended spell.

For this reason, it would be hugely surprising if Spurs do not bring in someone of a proven calibre to challenge and, if necessary, come into the forward line.

That could be someone on loan or it could be a permanent transfer, but they need someone.

Even a Louis Saha would be better than no-one.

image: © OliverN5

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