When Soldado was first rumoured to join Spurs in the summer of 2013 like many Spurs fans I had doubts that Daniel Levy would be able to pull off such a coup. Soldado’s excellent track record in Spain made him a sought after player and a top striker – exactly what Spurs needed after Adebayor’s constant fluctuation in form (and interest) and Defoe’s rumoured departure at the time. I, like many Spurs fans imagined this was simply a rumour and was delighted when we acquired Soldado for a cool £26 million pounds, smashing the previous record transfer.
However, the elation I felt at his signing is probably the only real joy I’ve felt in his Tottenham career. I’ve started to question if maybe it is time for Soldado to bow out at Spurs – he hasn’t reached any true form in his time at the club. If you type ‘Soldado’ into google one of the top searches is ‘when did Soldado score last?’ which pretty much sums up his Spurs career.
Soldado hasn’t played well since he joined Spurs, but has he really been given the right opportunities that a player of his stature should receive when joining a new club? Since he was signed, he has been playing a lot deeper than he did in Spain. Most recently, against Crystal Palace he seemed to spend a lot more time in his own half than in the attacking third. As a result when Spurs were on the attack he was constantly a step behind the phase of play, not in the right positions and generally ineffective. Soldado is reliant on service; he needs others to create chances for him around the 6 yard box – he’s a born finisher. In my opinion, with the emergence of Harry Kane, the team simply isn’t set up to be able for him to play in this position. Furthemore, with Kane’s good form this is unlikely to change anytime soon which almost leaves Soldado obsolete.
If Soldado is taken away from the equation however, which other strikers do Spurs have? Adebayor? A temperamental player who has never really given a club his all in his entire career? Even so, he is on compassionate leave with no set date for return; his constant absence from the team is generally a mystery regardless of which manager he is under. If anything, he is a second choice to even Soldado. Apart from Adebayor there is no other striker the club can utilise in first team games. In addition to Kane, if Pochettino wishes to play any formation that requires 2 strikers, Soldado is the only choice Pochettino has – it isn’t Solado’s fault he is having to play a position he is clearly uncomfortable in.
Soldado is a fan favourite however; White Hart Lane erupts on the rare occasion that he scores. I’ve never met a fan who feels any anger towards Soldado, in fact most of them feel both compassion towards him and sympathy. He was a world class striker and since joining he has lost his place internationally and failed to find form. When he’s on the pitch he gives 100%, he’s a model professional and he comes across as a likeable character. Fans are endeared to him and he wants to perform for the club, when he recently scored he commented “The moment the ref blew for HT everybody sung my name, I welled up a little bit, I had a tear in my eye. It was very special.” It’s impossible to not like someone who clearly has so much passion for the club.
Soldado is probably lacking confidence which is understandable but time after time he misses easy chances, even last night he missed a chance I feel many strikers with less ability than him would have scored. It’s questionable how many chances we in turn should give Soldado, and I fear it’s a question that will divide many Spurs fans given how popular he is with everyone affiliated with the club.
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