Why £26m Spurs flop would be ideal - for Barcelona

Spurs striker Roberto Soldado has had a tough season in England, but would he fare better with a move back to Spain – with Barcelona?

Brought to the Premier League by former Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas in a bid to land a goalscoring striker as Gareth Bale's goals were heading to La Liga with Real Madrid, Soldado had a huge amount of expectation on his shoulders upon arriving at White Hart Lane.

81 goals in just 141 games for Valencia had seen Soldado become one of the most dangerous strikers in European football, and a strong showing at the Confederations Cup for Spain had convinced many that the 28-year-old's arrival would guarantee a top four spot for Spurs.

Soldado's season got off to a positive start, getting his name on the scoresheet in the Premier League opener against Crystal Palace before hitting a brace in a Europa League tie with Georgian side Dinamo Tbilisi, with his movement and anticipation inside the box catching the eye.

But after three goals in a week to start the season, Soldado has hit just seven goals since, including three in one game against Anzhi Makhachkala. With just five Premier League goals to his name this season, and has failed to justify the £26m price tag that Tottenham forked out to bring him to England, posing questions about his future at the club – especially with just one of those goals coming from open play.

Manager Tim Sherwood has voiced his backing for the Spanish international striker, and alleviated fears that a new striker could be arriving at White Hart Lane to replace him – though Spurs fans probably aren't worrying about that prospect.

"It's just a matter of time before Robbie hits the target again, starts scoring and gets on a run. I'm sure it's not the first barren spell he's had. I'm not putting pressure on him and he's not putting pressure on himself. We're alright for strikers here. If we added more players to what we've got, it would be impossible to train... too manic." said Sherwood.

Despite the vote of confidence from Sherwood, Soldado has to be concerned about his future at the club, and if Spurs can recoup a large amount of their £26m outlay, then they may look to offload the former Real Madrid man in order to bring in a striker who will hit the back of the net on a regular basis. A move back to Spain would be likely, and two clubs stick out as potential destinations for Soldado.

Barcelona – as bizarre as this may sound – could be sensible for Soldado and manager Gerardo Martino. He has made no secret of his desire to bring in a recognised centre forward in order to take some attention off Lionel Messi, and with the focus almost certainly going towards defensive reinforcements at the Camp Nou this summer, a cut-price deal for Soldado could make sense – particularly with his record in La Liga and the fact that they have targeted his signature before.

The other would be Atletico Madrid, who could lose star striker Diego Costa this summer, with Arsenal and Chelsea eyeing up the Brazilian-turned-Spaniard. B

ringing in a proven La Liga goalscorer in his place would keep Diego Simeone's men ticking over, whilst Soldado could follow in the footsteps of other Atletico hitmen such as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero and Falcao at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.

image: © Victor Gutierrez Navarro

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