With the news coming through that last season Watford loanee Matej Vydra has agreed a season long loan deal with West Brom, it got me thinking if maybe Spurs should have gone in for Vydra whilst he was available as another possible backup option to Soldado up front as he would provide a certain element of striking pace that could be very useful. Certainly Vydra was in fine form in the Championship for Watford last season but would that have justified a possible chase for his services considering he hasn’t yet really performed in a top league?
I’ll start off with the positives with Matej Vydra. He is a 21 year old full Czech International already which is fairly impressive considering that the Czechs boast a none too shabby forward squad containing Libor Kozak (who played against us for Lazio in the Europa League last year) and who ended up as one of the top scorers of the competition and former Spurs trainee Tomas Pekhart who has gone on to cement a decent goalscoring reputation at German club Nurnburg so I’m sure he will definitely build on his current 7 caps for his International side and become a key player for them in future tournaments.
The main reason why Vydra was so highly praised and sought after in the transfer window is because of his incredible performances for Watford last season in the Championship. A highly impressive 22 league goals in his first season show that Vydra was quick to adapt to his new surroundings at Vicarage Road and certainly his goals contributed massively to Watford’s run to the play off final and the fact that they scored the most goals out of any other team in the league. He was joint 4th top scorer in the league behind more established Championship names like Glenn Murray, Jordan Rhodes and Charlie Austin who have all been tipped to appear in the Premiership at some point in the future (indeed Murray will be this season for Crystal Palace). He also won Championship player of the month in January but the most impressive accomplishments he won last season was being named in the PFA Championship team of the year and winning the Championship Player of the Year award, beating off fierce competition from the likes of Murray, Tom Ince and Wilfried Zaha so it is unquestionable that he certainly has the talent and ability to take the Premiership by storm, judging on his performances last season anyway.
However, at his age, Vydra needs to be playing regular football week in, week out. If Spurs had gone in for Vydra and agreed a season long loan for his services, the fact of the matter is that he would not be first choice as Soldado would clearly be preferred to him in a starting line up. If AVB (as expected) lines up with a 4-3-3 formation, there would really be no starting place in the striker role to accommodate Vydra. Due to his pace and skill, there could be a call to play him as a winger who could cut in and unleash devastating shots like he did for Watford last year. However, his crossing would almost certainly not be as good as Chadli, Townsend or Lennon and it robs him of the direct approach down the centre where he excelled last season so I believe it would be a waste of his talents. At West Brom, they are sorely lacking attacking reinforcements as Romelu Lukaku returned as Chelsea and they sold Marc Antoine Fortune to Wigan, leaving only the goal shy Markus Rosenberg and the recently acquired evergreen Nicholas Anelka to score the goals for the Baggies. With the addition of Vydra, it will give West Brom some much needed pace and skill up front and the linkup play between two clever strikers like Anelka and Vydra could possibly propel West Brom to challenge for a Europa league berth this coming season.
In conclusion, I rate Matej Vydra very highly and have no doubt in my mind he can be an instant success for West Brom this season. However, he has never really made any significant impact at Udinese where they continue to rely on the veteran Di Natale to score the goals for them (although Luis Muriel broke through brilliantly last season as well) so it has to be questioned if he can perform at the top level. The fact is, he would not get a fair chance with Spurs with the likes of Soldado, Defoe, Adebayor, Kane and possibly youngsters like Coulthirst and Coulibaly looking to take advantage of whatever comes their way so it was probably a wise move for Vydra to go to a club where he might not play at a very high level but will certainly play every week which is what he needs more.
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