Could 16-goal Iceland striker be Tottenham's perfect Soldado replacement?

Roberto Soldado

Ajax forward Kolbeinn Sigthorsson could be the striker Spurs need to replace Roberto Soldado.

Soldado is the signing that most represents the recent Daniel Levy years at White Hart Lane, with the £26 million forward netting just six goals in his debut Premier League season.

Unlike Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela - all of whom have started to settle in England - 29-year-old Soldado appears to be falling further out of favour, with his current season bringing just five league appearances - and no goals.

Arriving in North London on the back of three incredible seasons with Valencia - where the Spanish international netted 59 goals in just 101 games - big things were expected of Soldado, but, thrust into a system not suited to his abilities, he was made a scapegoat for the Lilywhites’ poor form - and eventual departure of Andre Villas-Boas. However, he received undue criticism, with his poor goalscoring record - just two of six strikes were registered in open play - down to the failures of the players around him, as well as his own faults.

Playing as a poacher for Valencia, Soldado did little work outside the six-yard box, and he was the main target for threaded passes through the defensive line. Highly creative midfielders pushed the ball through to him - often breaking the offside trap - and he fulfilled his one duty - putting the ball in the back of the net. However, arriving at Spurs, the forward was expected to lead the line in Villas-Boas’ high-pressing system, dropping deep to link-up play - a duty he took time to adapt to. Whilst he often failed to have a noticeable impact upon games, his play was similar to that shown in Spain, and he made the same sort of runs that led to numerous goals for Valencia. However, the shoot-on-site instinct of Andros Townsend further limited his impact, with no creative midfielder there to thread well-worked passes into his feet, and, by the time Eriksen found form for Spurs, Soldado had already been kicked out the starting XI.

Unfortunate circumstances, and bad timing, reduced Soldado’s impact in his first season in North London, and, with his confidence knocked having started the current campaign outside the first-team fold, the club are said to be keen on letting him leave in January - with former Manchester United manager David Moyes reportedly keen on taking him to Real Sociedad.

With Emmanuel Adebayor also reportedly on the transfer list, head coach Mauricio Pochettino will be keen to bring in a top class striker at the earliest possible date, and Ajax’s Icelandic striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson should be at the top of their list.

With a lack of top quality centre-forwards on the market, the Lilywhites will have to look at a lower quality of player, but 24-year-old Sigthorsson has shown all the abilities needed to be a success.

He already plays in a high-pressing system with Ajax, and does not rely on just his finishing ability to beat opposition, often running from deep having been involved in the link-up play. He has four goals and two assists from 11 games this season, and, with Ajax struggling in the Eredivisie, he has done well to reach that tally. His career in the Netherland’s has incorporated two clubs, with four seasons with de Godenzonen following 15 goals in 32 games with AZ.

He has been a key part of the Iceland side who came so close to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, and who have performed so well in the qualification for Euro 2016, scoring 26 goals in 16 games since making his debut in 2010 - with six of those goals in competitive fixtures.

As has been experienced in the past, signing strikers from Dutch football can be a risk - with Afonso Alves and Luuk De Jong two high profile examples. However, Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic have excelled since their transfers to Southampton over the summer, and Sigthorsson could be the next to prove he can step up to the Premier League. Spurs can offer him the starting place in a system he has been playing in for a number of years with Ajax, and his hard-working goalscoring instinct makes him the ideal replacement for Roberto Soldado - excelling in all areas that the current Spurs man cannot.

The only question that remains is whether Ajax would be willing to let their star man leave.

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