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It’s Time For Tottenham To Splash The Cash For a True Number 9

In the wake of that monumental away goal at the San Siro two years ago in the Champions League Round of 16, it seemed that Tottenham Hotspur were on the verge of breaking into the big time. Outlasting bitter rivals Arsenal in the world’s greatest club competition, the tide finally appeared to be turning in the battle for North London. With a double digit points lead late into the following season, Spurs’ fans were dreaming about a title challenge, all too eager to shout “Mind the Gap” from the rooftops as the two clubs looked to be heading in opposite directions. Then, as if doused in ice water, Tottenham fans awoke to find that this dream was just that. After a massive collapse coupled with an Arsenal surge (topped off by West Bromwich Albion’s Martin Furlop’s instructional video on “How not to be a Professional Goalkeeper” on the final day of the season), Spurs once again found themselves relegated to Thursday’s on ITV4.

This year, Spurs had a season that would be celebrated by most clubs, but despite new manager Andre Villas-Boas helping the club achieve their highest point total in Premier League history, they still found themselves on the wrong side of the top four. Tottenham have signed quality players and brought in one of the most promising young managers in world football, yet have still been unable to break back into the Champions League. The problem is no secret to Tottenham supporters; the inability to replace Dimitar Berbatov, who signed for Manchester United in the Summer of 2008, with another world class forward.

Spurs are a fish too big for a lake, but too small for the ocean. When they signed a striker like Louis Saha, fans are disappointed that he isn’t of the required skill for Champions League qualification, but when they are linked with a player like Roberto Soldado, Chairman Daniel Levy is slammed for chasing unrealistic targets. Fabiano, Vucinic, Llorente, and most recently David Villa have all spurned Spurs, and this inability to lure a top quality striker to White Hart Lane has been holding them back as a real threat to achieve a top finish in the league.

The club’s current crop of strikers are not bad footballers, and would be the envy of many clubs in the England. Everton would love to have a player like Jermain Defoe, and the signing of Emmanuel Adebayor would be a monumental day in the history of West Ham United. However, would either start a meaningful game at Arsenal or Liverpool? Would Tottenham fans take either of those players over Luis Suarez or Lucas Podolski? While Defoe and Adebayor have their moments of brilliance, they are far too inconsistent to start on a club that has top four ambition. Defoe is best used as a super-sub like Chicharito at Manchester United, and for every world class performance given by Adebayor (late last season at Chelsea), he will have five that make Spurs look like they are playing with ten men.

In order to get a striker that can propel Tottenham into the upper echelon of not just English but European football, they are going to need to take a chance on a young player with massive upside. A few years ago that would have been Andy Carroll, which turned out to be a disastrous move for Liverpool. In the present however, the man of the hour is Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke. After banging in 19 goals for one of the league’s worst teams as a 22 year old, Spurs may have to splash the cash if they want a potential 30 goal scorer of the future. Villa have no obligation to sell, but with Benteke putting in a formal transfer request, Spurs may be able to lure the Belgian to London. Spurs are not a club that have the financial resources to buy an already established player in their prime like Fernando Torres or Robin van Persie, but if they gamble on a young player, it could be the difference between more Thursdays in Switzerland on ITV4, and the Champions League Anthem once again being played at White Hart Lane.

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  1. Conor Canavan

    July 12, 2013 at 7:50 am

    for me, if spurs had bought a reliable striker, they would have finished 4th instead of arsenal. it was a stupid decision by AVB not to buy a de3cent striker. benteke or soldado would be a good choice for them

  2. gbewing

    July 11, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    I agree Spurs need a reliable striker but AVB prefers to play a different formation. The position is not as crucial as to other teams. I consider Bale a striker for one as he’s given so much latitude in movement. We need an in the box striker to be specific. The Spurs had no penalty shots last season. Bale earned 3-5 that were not called but the other issue was hard to get a penalty if no one is in the box. Saying no one else scored but Bale is very misleading, are we saying the same about Liverpool and Suarez? Man U and Van Persie? Messi etc Bale emerged as a top tier scorer end of story- when you have an elite resource you use it and maximize it.
    If Sandro was available in 2nd half we’re in Champions league- We missed Dembele in key games as well-If Lloris replaced Friedel 2-3 games sooner we’re in I believe- too simplistic to point to the striker position especially when you don’t look at AVB’s preferred formations

  3. Matt T.

    July 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    I am convinced Furlop purposely gave that game to Arsenal. Still bitter.

  4. Prinz

    July 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Yeah with the glaring need of a striker and on limited budget spurs somehow don’t realise this instead they keep spending money of midfielders when they have the best midfield in the epl talk about misplaced priorities.
    On a sidenote @dust closing the gap on the gunners, really pls do remind me what has been the score of ur last 2 visit to the emirates im a little sketchy here.
    Bottom line is even though spurs hold a 15 point gap over LE ARSE with 10 games to go the outcome will still be the same, it’s about time some1 wrote an article about this LATE SEASON SYNDROME AT SPURS, or do u think it’s a coincidence that LE ARSE get stronger while spurs collapse.

    Best Believe That.

    • Nelson

      July 11, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Spurs have closed the point gap over the past decade with Arsenal. And that’s a fact.

  5. dust

    July 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    just a FYI to all Spurs fans…it’s not levy’s call its Baldini’s..Levy has taken a backseat s it relates the transfer market, the whole meet in the bahamas with Joe Lewis Levy AVB etc..was all about the new structure as levy deals with some pretty horrendous family health situations back at his home in New York…

    Baldini is the transfer and footballing man at spurs now…levy is the head and more commercially focused now.

    Levy got too much blame when Camolli made the decisions and not enough credit when it was him there with ‘arry. IMO he’s a great Chairmen closing a 45pt gap between us the the “invincible” gooners of 9 years ago and now…to the point where they are desperately holding on to 1 point lead with all their might, with it coming down the last day the last 2 seasons.

    so excited for this season!


  6. dust

    July 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    “(topped off by West Bromwich Albion’s Martin Furlop’s instructional video on “How not to be a Professional Goalkeeper” on the final day of the season)” excellent line…sad but rue…Hodgepodge is a gooner

  7. King of Couches

    July 11, 2013 at 11:45 am

    On the other side of this, I’m not quite sure why Villa doesn’t pull the trigger on the Defoe and cash for Benteke offer that’s rumored to be floating about. I like Benteke and surely his leaving would be a loss for Villa, but if Villa needs anything to contend, it’s solid veteran leadership. Defoe can still score, and he doesn’t possess some of Benteke’s flaws (e.g. a penchant for always being offsides, somewhat lackluster ball control, a lack of willingness to pass). Benteke’s going one way or the other, so why not get something out of it (other than cash)?

  8. brn442

    July 11, 2013 at 10:39 am

    “However, would either start a meaningful game at Arsenal or Liverpool?”

    Actually yes – Adebayor has indeed done so, with Madrid as well. I will take Defoe over Borini any day of the week at Anfield.

    But to your point, yes – Hotspur can use a 15+ a season centre-foward.

  9. Jon

    July 11, 2013 at 10:32 am

    While injuries were a factor to key players, goals from anyone other than Bale were an issue. Spurs too often were reliant on Bale’s goals and when he didn’t score or play, the team struggled. Benteke is expensive, but he’s proven that he can score and I believe Spurs should sign him.

  10. Tayo

    July 11, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Spurs splash cash? I doubt you will ever see ‘tottenham’ and ‘splash’ in the same sentence. Levy is one shrewd business man

  11. Yiddo

    July 11, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I totally agree with the idea of getting Benteke and to be honest the price is not that high in todays market. Yes it would be great to bring it down a bit and I have faith Levy will try to do just that with a couple of players going to Villa park as a sweetener(Hud and Livermore)bring the price down to around the 18 million mark. But this guy isnt all we need another wide player is a must and it looks like there is a deal to be done for Chadli so that would be a big plus for us (remember how narrow we became last season when Bale and Lennon were both injured) also we will need another striker if Ade goes we cant go into the season with only 2 strikers again we have seen how well that works for us already so come Mr Levy and AVB splash the cash bring in what we need for that next step or we will always be the prems best of the rest 3 players and the squad is the one we all want COYS

  12. christian

    July 11, 2013 at 8:47 am

    I agree with Mark. Spurs look to be going the right direction towards the top of the table and I’m not sure splashing the pot right now for an unproven player like Benteke is a great idea.

    If, as you say, they gamble on a young player then they stand to lose a lot on the other side of that gamble, if he falters, by buying a player who’s only shown class for six months. I think Benteke is a very good player but let’s see him repeat that ability before going all in.

  13. Mark

    July 11, 2013 at 8:01 am

    We definately need a world class striker. But finishing 5th by only a point was mainly due to the number of injuries to key players that we had. I believe we had more injuries than the clubs finishing in the top 4 put together. Dont forget we finished 4th in the season prior to last season.

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