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The Footie File

By David McBride

"The Giant Elephant, Or Lack There Of, In The Middle Of The Room"

Photo By David McBride      
Gareth Bale as seen in PartingGlassMedia.com
Tottenham's Gareth Bale

Tottenham Hotspur need a striker, desperately.  The North London club’s need for a proven goalscorer is perhaps the single most pressing need of any big club in England.  And with only days to go before the season kicks off, Spurs still do not have that player.

It has been a turbulent offseason, once again, for Tottenham.  A new coach, the retirement of the team’s captain, a sweltering tour of the United States, new contracts for star players, and other star players looking to leave for greener and richer pastures, but over the last few years this has become business as usual for chairman Daniel Levy.

Levy has overseen a fantastic run for Tottenham.  They have become a consistent member of the Premier League’s elite, but if he and new coach Andre Villas-Boas are unable to secure the signature of a top class striker this house could come crumbling down before it ever has a chance to show its potential. 

Photo By David McBride    
Andre Villas Boas as seen in PartingGlassMedia.com
Andre Villas Boas

Like last summer, Spurs’ 2012 summer transfer window has been dominated by speculation of the departure of Luka Modric, a saga I will not repeat here because I have grown quite tired of it.  But such is the importance of a striker for Tottenham, that if the selling of a player like Modric means the purchase of a top scorer, its worth it. 

Modric is a world-class talent, and he can not be replaced.  But between Scott Parker, Sandro, Rafael van der Vaart, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Tom Huddlestone,  and Jake Livermore, Villas-Boas has plenty of good options in the center of the midfield.  At this moment, he has almost no options whatsoever for a true center forward.  Tottenham don’t just need a striker, they need more than one.

Photo By David McBride    
Rafael van der Vart as seen in PartingGlassMedia.com
Rafael van der Vaart

Jermaine Defoe provides depth, and with van der Vaart and Sigurdsson in the squad there are some good attacking options.  But none of these players are the type of players that suit a system with a true center forward.  So my point is this, even if Levy can finally secure the signature of a top striker, Spurs run a terrible risk of losing that player to injury and facing a season with no other options in that position.  The permanent return of Emanuel Adebayor, something that seems to be on one day and off the other, is the obvious choice.  But how long do you wait on that deal?  And is Adebayor really worth the club’s top salary?

The rumor mill is full of the same options Spurs supporters have seen year after year.  Brazilian Leandro Damiao is today’s noisiest rumor, but there are also the old standbys Fernando Llorente, Giuseppe Rossi and Loic Remy.  These are all good players, and will all cost a huge sum of money.  The disturbing thing is what seems to be the total lack of a plan B.  A young, less expensive striker who can provide depth is also a pressing need for Tottenham

And Levy and Villas-Boas can not wait until the final day of the transfer window to do all this.  It is a risk too great.  If they fail, it could mean a mid-table finish for a club with top-five talent everywhere else on the pitch.


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