A shot in the dark
Tottenham are going to bid for a player, probably, possibly quite soon (soon equating to the next three and a half weeks). The bid, once made, will be official and you'll have heard about it here first, making this article an exclusive.
Yes, another day, another non-event of nothingness. I actually wish I didn't have to write this. Mainly because if there is something that's more unoriginal than transfer headline attention seeking it's an article taking the p*ss out of transfer headline attention seeking. But alas, I have very little to work with currently mainly because Harry Redknapp has yet to carpet bomb the tabloids with explosive soundbites leading up to the game of the century (QPR v Tottenham).
So what about that nothingness?
Leandro is linked to Tottenham again. No necessity to grab your arm and complain about pain as you fall to the ground, heart giving way. I've lost track of time with this one. Has it been two years since we began our alleged interest? Six transfer windows? It's been even longer if you care to concern yourself with signing any striker. Even though we did in making Adebayor our player rather than a loaned one, it still seems like we naturally discount him.
If we don't sign a striker is it because we are aiming too high or simply don't have the money to spend? We appear to remain in this perpetual waiting room, our appointment with destiny never attended.
In terms of the finances, if you take all the activity we've been linked with, £20M seems to be the most we can afford to bid. Anything above that never transpires to the point of perhaps.
Adebayor is going to the African Cup of Nations (although we await official word). So we're left with one forward, one particular type of forward. We've done okay this season with JD. We're 3rd. Adebayor has been injured, he's been asked to adapt his play a little differently. He's had to start along side JD which arguably is not the best role for him (made a little more complicated as neither seem to play on the same level of understanding). He's not been half as bad as some have suggested but he's hardly made an impact worth of applause. Yet losing him will weaken us.
Something is not right. Maybe it is Togo. Maybe he needs the week or so they survive in the competition to find his groove. Doesn't help us, but then we knew this might happen. So what is the contingency? Is there a contingency? How old is Andy Booth?
My concern remains one of seasoned despondency. Squad defining signings tend to happen in the summer. Opportunistic or shrewd ones happen in January along with stop-gaps. We don't quite do the latter any more. We don't look towards the short term we think about the long term. So if there is a world class affordable forward out there the question(s) will be:
Why haven't we signed him earlier?
Does chairman and coach believe a large chunk of money should be spent on said player now?
Perhaps some of our targets are available now as opposed to the summer but Levy and his balancing of the books makes me a little negative even though I believe that he's seeking to support Andre Villas-Boas in every way possible. If AVB thinks we can survive with one forward (and perhaps a youth player promoted for cover) then it's a massive risk. Doubt we'd just buy anyone for the sake of emergency. So what happens next?
Will Dempsey be pushed further up field, behind Defoe? Is that an in-house stop gap? Anything you choose to make up might be a potential solution. The most prominent of questions is 'do we actually need another forward?' because when all three are available, are we back to struggling to rotate them? I think this one is easy to answer. If we look to improve other areas of the pitch then why not bring someone in that can take us up another step? If that world class player isn't available, then what we have is probably as good as it gets. We wouldn't want to just go out and sign a player of equal quality to what we possess. We need a game-changer.
Elsewhere, Holtby could be ours for £1.6M now rather than July which means he'll be signing for us in July. Don't think AVB is in a rush to bring him in early. Can't see Levy parting with £1.6M that doesn't have to be spent. And now apparently Schalke aren't too keen on this. Stories where there are no stories.
Wilfried Zaha is being linked, an expected consequence of the window as he's touted to be sold to a Prem club at some point. It's got legs only because it's an easy story arc to have us competing with Manchester United (and Fergie) for the kids signature. Ironically, we could do with a young hungry decent footballer to play that 'bench' role. One for the future that doesn't mind having his development run a smooth course rather than being thrown into the deep end from the off. You know, like Routledge and Bostock.
Younès Belhanda is the new headline on the feeds. Can play out wide, through the middle. The Moroccan attacking midfielder plays for Montpellier. Another very tasty acquisition on any given Football Manager save game. But with Holtby to join and the more obvious hope of Moutinho we are left not with exclusives, just shots in the dark.