Roberto Soldado has not been named in Spain’s squad for the World Cup in Brazil – a move that looks likely to signal his departure from White Hart Lane.
Despite cutting an increasingly forlorn figure on the pitch for Spurs this season, Roberto Soldado must have harboured quiet hopes of playing for La Roja this summer but, after being excluded from Vicente Del Bosque’s preliminary squad, a Tottenham departure looks likely.
Signed for a hefty £26m last August, big things were expected of the 28-year-old striker, who had impressed throughout his three-year spell with Valencia, scoring 59 goals in 101 La Liga games.
But upon arrival it became apparent that something was amiss. A few penalties early in his stay papered over the cracks but Soldado was soon found wanting and matters were made worse by the success of fellow Spaniard and national team rival Alvaro Negredo at Manchester City.
The forward nicknamed ‘The Beast’ may have endured a tail-off in form over the second-half of the campaign, but aside from an impressive tally in the Europa League, Soldado has never got going domestically in the way Negredo did, scoring just six goals all season.
And while Negredo is part of the Spanish party for the finals, his Spurs counterpart is seemingly out of the picture for both club and country – with a combination of Emmanuel Adebayor and Harry Kane preferred in recent weeks by now-sacked manager Tim Sherwood.
With Soldado no doubt eager to resurrect his career, a move back to his homeland looks a necessity, though Tottenham could struggle to recoup much of their initial outlay.
Valencia represents one option for the forward, but with Los Che enduring financial difficulties, that move looks an unlikely prospect.
Instead, Soldado could be sold to the likes of Villarreal, Real Sociedad or Athletic Bilbao, with the latter of the three offering one potential option given the injection of cash they are set to receive after qualifying for the Champions League.
Whatever the case, with Del Bosque’s latest announcement, it’s looking likely that the Spaniard has played his last game for the Lilywhites.