Tottenham's Roberto Soldado is rightly under fire for his lack of goals, but is there another aspect to his game which shows he is worth sticking with?
There can be no denying, that at £26 million - a return of five Premier League goals by mid-February is a disappointment by anybody's standards.
When you consider that four came from the penalty spot, and he is being put in the shade by Emmanuel Adebayor, who had been made an outcast under former boss Andre Villas-Boas, it's more than a little concerning.
Yet there's no denying Soldado has a strong track record when it comes to goalscoring, netting 24 times in La Liga last season. Getting him firing is likely to be Tim Sherwood's biggest challenge, along with fellow big-money signing Erik Lamela.
But is there more to his game than goals? A look at his creative statistics suggest there's reason to hold out hope.
Soldado has provided more assists from open play than any other Tottenham player, and is in the top three in terms of key passes made from open play.
|Player||Team||Pos||Assist Openplay||Att Assist Openplay||Att Assist Setplay||Apps||Mins|
Christian Eriksen is the club's creator-in-chief, but 15 of his 28 attempted assists come from set pieces. Only Moussa Dembele and Aaron Lennon try harder than Soldado to play in teammates, and with less success.
Soldado, 28, played just six minutes in the impressive 4-0 win over Newcastle, and Tim Sherwood will be reluctant to change the side, but this week's Europa League game provides a chance for rotation.
It's hard to praise the Spaniard in general this season, but the statistics above show there is more to his game than simply scoring goals, and for that reason he is worth persevering with while he attempts to get his head right.
image: © Jon Candy