Enough has been made of Tottenham and Daniel Levy over the past years of their transfer activities. Everyone knows that the club is in need of a top tier striker. This makes the recent news of Soldado’s deal being called off more disheartening. If the papers are to be believed, then Tottenham have missed out on Christian Benteke, Leandro Damião, David Villa, Mario Gomez, Alvaro Negredo, and Christian Benitez amongst others. Since the beginning of the summer transfer window the name of Soldado was floated as a potential signing for the club. The debt-ridden Valencia has been forced to sell some of its biggest talent to stay afloat. All this now appears to be for naught as Tottenham have sent in bids ranging from 22 to 26 Million Euros. Valencia President Amadeo Salvo claims the club has no intention of letting the former Real Madrid man leave for anything under his 30 Million Euro release clause. 30 Million Euros would smash Tottenham’s transfer record and represent a complete change of policy for Daniel Levy. Levy would have to agree to pay 30 Million Euros for a 28 year old player with no future sell-on value. For all intents and purposes, one must assume that Soldado will not be making the move to Tottenham. Baldini, Villas-Boas, and Levy may be able to talk Valencia down or Levy may have to cede his transfer habits have led to this but as of now Tottenham have lost out on another striker.
So, who is left?
Based on WhoScored.com’s ratings for strikers nearly all of Europe’s top strikers are in a secure situation or have recently moved. These strikers were never realistic targets but included: Falcao in Monaco, Zlatan Ibrahimovic in PSG for the time being, Robin van Persie in Manchester, Edinson Cavani in PSG, Mario Gomez in Fiorentina, Carlos Tevez at Juventus, Robert Lewandowski on his way to Bayern Munich by 2014, Stevan Jovetić to Manchester City, Mario Balotelli in Milan. The list goes on and on, so who is left for Tottenham to replace their currently light and out of form strikers.
January targets make an appearance when considering possible strikers. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, the Dutchman squashed any move in January by signing a new contract with the Westphalia club. However as anyone who follows the modern game knows loyalty is worth nothing and a contract is worth little more than the paper it is on. The perennial underachiever has played for some of Europe’s most historic clubs such as Ajax, AC Milan, and Real Madrid. Whether Huntelaar has been consistently unlucky or he lacks a skill set to perform at the highest level- the jury is still out on. Huntelaar made 26 appearances for FC Schalke 04 scoring 10 goals and assisting 4 more in the Bundesliga. Schalke were knocked out in the round of 16 in the Champions League by Galatasaray. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was named one of Europe’s Flops of the season by WhoScored.com where his average rating dropped from 7.64 to 6.85. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s goal tally also dropped an appalling 19 goals from the 2011-12 season in Bundesliga play. Huntelaar at 29 years old has been playing off of his name for some time now, gone are the days of Luis Suarez and Huntelaar wrecking havoc on Eredivisie defenses. It appears unlikely the Dutchman will lead the line for Tottenham in the upcoming season.
Another veteran of Champions League play is Turkish striker Burak Yilmaz. Earlier in the summer mumbling could be heard of a possible deal between Tottenham and Galatasaray. Liverpool and other top European clubs were also interested in a deal. As the summer wore on, Yilmaz’s transfer stock fell as news of other “bigger” name transfers filled the back pages. Burak Yilmaz has played his entire career in the Turkish Süper Lig. He has played for the three major Istanbul teams of Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe, and Beşiktaş who are all bitter rivals. Yilmaz became a sensation for his Champions League displays against FC Schalke 04, Real Madrid, and a group stage hat trick against CFR Cluj. Another 28 year old striker, the Turkish man could be a more cost-effective answer. Liverpool have been on Tottenham’s backs the entire transfer window and may look to steal him to add to their attacking department. Yilmaz is definitely an option for Levy and Spurs.
Papiss Demba Cisse recently left Newcastle United’s preseason tour over a dispute dealing with loan company Wonga. The Senegalese striker appeared to be making a religious statement as Muslim edict forbids usury and other forms of financial exploitation. British tabloids have reported that Papiss Cisse has been a visitor of an Aspers Casino, another forbidden act in the Islamic faith. If this is to be believed then Cisse seems to be using his religious beliefs as a way to force a move from the Newcastle side. Setting aside the questionable ethical nature of this, Papiss Cisse could be another option for Tottenham. Cisse scored 22 goals during his second season with SC Freiburg and the 2011-12 season saw Cisse form a breakout partnership with Demba Ba as Cisse notched 13 goals. Cisse is a physical specimen and at times is a nice finisher of the ball but he is too streaky for Tottenham. Tottenham need a solid goal scoring striker not one who is inconsistent compounding this with the fact Papiss Cisse is also 28 years old and a transfer to North London does not make sense.
With Roma in the hands of American owners, a changing of the guard may be occurring. Daniele De Rossi arguably one of the best defensive midfielders of the last decade may be on his way to Chelsea. Another Roma player may be on the way out in the form of Argentine Pablo Osvaldo. At 27 years old, Osvaldo is one of the younger established targets for Spurs. Pablo Osvaldo has been in the Serie A since 2006 after a move from boyhood club Huracán. Osvaldo is not without baggage as his maturity and discipline have been called into question. He pouted and argued with Roma caretaker Aurelio Andreazzoli after Roma’s Coppa Italia loss to Lazio. Also, in the last 40 games, Osvaldo has earned 2 reds and 6 yellow cards while scoring 17 goals. Osvaldo makes up for his lack of character with brute strength which can be seen in his skilled headers and shot power. The Argentine is obviously unhappy with the Roman club and was linked to Tottenham during January. However, like Cisse a transfer for Osvaldo does not seem to be worth it. He may be happier with a move but what is to say he won’t have a falling out with Tottenham and Andre Villas-Boas and his goal scoring prowess is just not impressive enough.
Another name thrown around is Ligue 1 striker Lisandro Lopez. The Lyon striker spent four years at Porto after Villas-Boas left as an assistant and before he returned to manage the team. The 30 year old has only scored more than 20 goals three times in his 11 year career. Lopez is however a skilled player who retains possession and is able to pass the ball in little layoffs as he kneads the back four like a pound of dough. Lopez plays in an intricate style, a pretty style which may not transition to the English Premier League well. A plus for Lopez is his versatility, as the Argentine can play as central midfielder, central attacking midfielder, as well as out left and in his preferred striking position. Lopez appears to be the Plan B if a deal for Soldado becomes a complete wash. The 30 year old would not be a great buy but a stop-gap as Tottenham continue their search for the next great Tottenham striker.
Stefan Kiessling is another option but he has no reason to leave Champions League bound Bayer Leverkusen. Forgotten Frenchman Kevin Gamerio seems to be off to Sevilla to replace Alvaro Negredo. Championship striker Loïc Rémy is looking for a way out but a rape investigation lingers as West Ham and Newcastle United circle the player. Fringe striker Alessandro Matri may be looking for playing time after Juve’s capture of Tevez, Llorente, and the host of other forwards already there.
So, who do you want or think will be the next Tottenham striker? Do any of the names mentioned strike anyone as a solid pickup or is there a name you would like to see who isn’t covered? Leave your comments in the section below.
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