Roberto Soldado signs. His name translates to soldier. Cue a variety of 'onwards into battle' headlines on this blog once the season starts.
The long(est) running saga of protracted expectancy ends with the arrival of a 28 year old at the peak of his power. This is the end product, not the potential. We've only gone and signed a goal getting, goal scoring poacheresque forward. Universe implosion in 3...2...1...
Soldado is intelligent, has a solid goal scoring record - 59 goals in 101 games (domestic league) with a total of 81 goals from 141 games in all competitions in three seasons at Valencia - and as stated in an earlier blog (copy and paste time), a player that can be entrusted in and around the box rather than lesser one dimensional players that perhaps rely on more straightforward support and movement.
Soldado can sniff out a goal, get into a position for an assist and play as part of a team - i.e., good enough to fit into tactical movement that doesn't simply involve goal hanging. However, that much maligned movement might be the issue we currently have with our wandering forwards, so it's important to reiterate again that Soldado 'attacks' the penalty box.
He can score the ugly type of important goals that we tend to associate with Dempsey but is also a master at the acute and brilliant volley. He has the technical skills and the experience. I don't think he's going to take too long to fit into the pace of the English game.
He pretty much has all the standard stuff you expect from a top class forward. All the stuff Adebayor can do, except with a touch more consistency and hunger to remain penalty bound. Also a touch more robust than Defoe.
Some (most Spurs fans) are citing this as our first proper signing (striker wise) since we bagged Berbatov. Slightly clouded viewpoint. Adebayor *is* a striker after-all, and so was Crouch…well, technically speaking he was sort of a striker. More of a free-kick magnet appeasing the oppositions possession. Someone also spare a thought for Leandro Damiao. Just a thought, you can carry on reading now.
So what with Soldado being more up front and direct rather than the deep lying, channel working Ade, he’ll get onto plenty of crosses. Shame that Gareth Bale is probably off, now that it’s looking rather ominous that Madrid have probably gone and bid for him.
Nice work from Franco Baldini. This being the consequence of Baldini’s appointment. To be honest, it probably has more to do with the necessity to back Andre Villas-Boas unequivocally. So equal kudos to Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis. Sure, we might be bankrolled in this window with the Bale money forthcoming but you can’t argue with the fact that we have broken our club record for a transfer twice in a single window.
This is a massive signing. Regardless of what happens with Bale, we could do with more. Vlad Chiriches of Steaua Bucharest supposedly had his move to Spurs cancelled by the Steaua owner. But apparently the move is back on again. Actually, by the time this article publishes, it might be off. Add another wide player and an attacking midfielder in the classic ‘number 10′ role, and we might just have enough about us to compensate for losing our talismanic free-roamer to Real Madrid and gain CL without him.
Sorry, I sound like a broken record with Bale now, after a summer of defiance. I guess, psychologically, if he does stay the sheer joy to behold will feel so much better after I've decided he wont. If you want to detach yourself from the madness and dive into insanity, one of the best conspiracy theories I've read/seen this summer is that Madrid are not interested in Bale, are bidding under value on purpose, all to pressure Ronaldo (the only Madrid player not to pipe up in support of Bale being signed) to add pen to paper and extend his contract. Love it.
Back to reality:
Paulinho. Chadli. Soldado.
Add the returning Kaboul and Sandro.
Dembele to be more expressive.
Holtby to shine with more culture than frantic urgency.
Looking good Spurs, looking good. So much to look forward to, with the hope that any given adjustments are fluid in application.
I won’t even mention what we might be able to do if ‘you know who’ stays. But either way, Spurs still need to adapt and not be reliant on the game-changing qualities of an individual. Still, being able to adapt doesn't mean we should ignore the edge a game-changing individual can give us.
For all the players signing, all eyes on Andre Villas-Boas, having set the foundations last season, we now need to succeed and iron out any remaining costly weaknesses.