Tottenham's 'Weak Link' singled out - And fans would be hard pressed to argue

Can there be any disputing that Roberto Soldado is Tottenham Hotspur's weak link?

Every club has a player considered a 'liability' write The Mail, with Manchester United's under-fire Tom Cleverley one player singled out for criticism.

It isn't just the Englishman however; the paper has constructed a list of 'weak links' for all 20 Premier League clubs.

Now who may Tottenham's be? Could it be left-back Danny Rose? Could it be under-performing wingers Nacer Chadli or Erik Lamela? 

The answer is none of the above, with Roberto Soldado picked out as Tottenham's biggest under-performer.

"Of the Spaniard’s five league goals, four have come from the penalty spot. At £26m that is hardly a handsome return and supporters are growing tired with his minimal contribution. Some argue he should be afforded time to adapt, but when his efforts are compared to first-season compatriot Alvaro Negredo at Manchester City, it is difficult not to feel Soldado is letting his side down."

There are varying statistics relating to Premier League players, but when it comes to strikers, there really one that matters above all others, and Soldado is without a goal one month into 2014.

He does not have any assists to his name this calendar year either, and it's difficult to see where his next strike is going to come from.

For context however regarding his overall play; we decided to compare Soldado to his teammate Emmanuel Adebayor who has played 11 games less, and see how he fared.

PlayerTeamPosGoalsAssistKey Passes per game averageShots per game average% of shots on targetGoals OpenplayAppsMins
Emmanuel Adebayor Spurs FW 5 2 1.44 1.89 52.94 4 9 734
Roberto Soldado Spurs FW 5 4 1.30 2.40 29.17 1 20 1,595

There are several things to take here, and it's not just that Adebayor has as many goals in under half the appearances - but also four compared to one in terms of open play.

Soldado actually averages more shots per game than Adebayor, which makes his poor goal return all the more woeful. This is explained by the Spaniard landing less than 30 per cent of his efforts on target, while Adebayor tests the goalkeeper with over half of his efforts.

While Soldado has more assists than him, Adebayor records more key passes per game, and if he were to 'catch up' to his teammates 20 appearances it's likely he would supersede him in this area too.

Considering Adebayor started the season as the outcast Spurs could not shift, and Soldado arrived as a £26 million signing from Valencia, tipped to fire them to new heights, it's clear in terms of expectation, the Spaniard has under-performed.

image: © Victor Gutierrez Navarro

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