Friday 9th August 2013
It could all be hearsay, but if Tottenham Hotspur are willing to sell Jermain Defoe then they’re nuttier than a fruitcake being dipped in hazelnut coffee by the hands of David Icke. If the club get rid of Defoe then they will be in the same situation that they’ve found themselves in since the dark old days of employing Gary Doherty as an emergency striker.
The club have purchased Roberto Soldado, but even if they keep Defoe, they are still short of a forward, particularly after the sale of Clint Dempsey and the expected exit of Emmanuel Adebayor.
It’s the same old story with Tottenham. Even when they qualified for the Champions League in 2011-12 with Defoe, Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko on their books you couldn’t help wondering how higher they would have finished if they had had another forward to fall back on, which is exactly what most of their supporters have been feeling since.
Apart from Adebayor, the last campaign brought no transfer action in terms of out-and-out strikers and successful clubs in England often have four of them – look at Manchester United and Manchester City – but if they don’t then the goals needed are often made up elsewhere on the pitch.
Being short on supplies up front played a big part in Chelsea being unable to make a serious assault on the Premiership and Champions League last season, but they still won the Europa League, so it was a campaign that was rewarded even if they didn’t get their hands on exactly what they wanted. They also have players like Frank Lampard and Juan Mata who get into double figures when they get the games, along with Roman Lukaku back from his loan spell with West Brom, and new signing Andre Schurrle, not to mention the possibility of a certain Mr. Rooney strutting his stuff with the Blues.
Aside from Gareth Bale (who, I don’t know if you’ve heard, has been linked with Real Madrid lately), Defoe and now Soldado, it’s hard to see anyone else in the squad getting into double figures. Adebayor’s one season expiry date for reliability has passed whereby he will achieve his target of getting a transfer in order to gain yet another hike in wages (all for his people back in Togo you understand).
Dempsey, who has occasionally been deployed up-front has now gone, so why the hell would Spurs want to get rid of Defoe? If they do, they will need a further two players of a similar ilk at least whether or not Andre Villas-Boas employs his favourite 4-2-3-1 formation for the majority of the upcoming campaign. Or the 4-3-3 system that Soldado thrived under at Valencia, although Boas used that only once last season.
Defoe’s form in the second half the campaign was nowhere near as prolific as the first half (injuries that thwarted his stride didn’t help), but he is still one of the most reliable finishers in the country, who many clubs, Premiership and beyond, would love to have in their team. Rumours of him leaving Spurs may be unfounded, but if they are true and he leaves without replacements being brought in, then the club will only have themselves to blame should they fail to reach the Champions League, and/or finish behind Arsenal yet again.
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