Can Roberto Soldado finally live up to his transfer fee at Spurs?

Tottenham Hotspur's marquee signing of this summer must rekindle his La Liga form if Spurs are to make the Champions League spots.

On this day last year Tottenham Hotspur completed a record deal to sign Roberto Soldado from Valencia for £26 million.

Soldado signed after scoring 59 goals in 101 appearances for Valencia in the Spanish top-flight and was expected to be the man to fire them into the top four.

Under Andre-Villas Boas, Spurs had achieved their highest points total ever in the Premier League in 2012/13 and it was thought that they were well placed to overtake their North-London rivals, Arsenal, even without Gareth Bale.

A host of new faces joined Spurs during the summer of 2013, with Soldado the most high-profile, and expectations around White Hart Lane were at a one of their highest points in recent memory.

However, the Spaniard’s arrival at Spurs coincided with the time when everything started to fall about on the Villas-Boas reign.

Seemingly unable to come up with a secondary plan, as things began to go wrong, the young boss, who is now at Zenit St. Petersburg, lost the trust of the Spurs fans and board and was ultimately sacked mid-way through the season.

Soldado, during this time, was a peripheral figure on the pitch, scoring only six goals, looking isolated up-front and struggling to adapt to the English game.

As such, when Tim Sherwood arrived to take charge and replace Villas-Boas, he was banished from the first-team starting places. The recall of Emmanuel Adebayor and the emergence of Harry Kane, saw the 29-year-old end the year as Spurs’ third choice striker.

Now, this season looks like make or break. Mauricio Pochettino’s appointment as Spurs boss has provided Soldado with a reprieve and the initial signs have been encouraging over pre-season.

He has looked sharp in the club’s friendlies which he has played in so far, and appears to be firmly in the Argentine’s plans for the upcoming campaign.

If he can rekindle the form that he showed in La Liga there can be no doubting his quality and if he does hit top form he may just be the difference between Spurs falling short once again or making it into the Champions League spots.

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