Though the transfer window is not shut yet, Harry Redknapp should heed a warning; they need to buy another striker. Having finally gotten their grip on the holy grail of Champions League football, they must be more cautious than ever. Now is not the time to take risks and go into battle unprepared.
They find themselves in a great position following last year’s celebrated campaign, and despite Manchester City’s mountain of cash, Spurs remain strong contenders to replicate the same achievement again. However next season, permitting they get past the qualifying round, the extra games they could find themselves playing in the Champions League (or maybe even the Europa League by new year) will begin to take their toll. And it would appear there is too much importance on the fitness and performance of Jermain Defoe.
Defoe had a great season last year. He came out of his shell finally, learning not only how to occupy defenders by running the channels, or using his electric pace to explosive effect, but he also learned how to hold the ball up, showing intelligent movement in and around the penalty area, and ended the league campaign with 18 goals in 34 games.
However, their participation in Europe’s elite competition is going to mean a string of massive games in successive weeks. To begin with this is something he has not experienced yet, and having never played in the Champions League, there are question marks whether he is capable of impressing at the top level.
However, he may well take that extra step, but whether he does or not, there remains too much onus on Defoe. Inevitably, he can’t start every game, and he could obviously get injured. And in those games in which he does not play, with Redknapp not exactly adamant on who his second choice striker is, it would appear those in reserve are not good enough. Though Pavlyuchenko and Crouch are reasonable talents, they should not cause too many problems against Europe’s top teams, and with Spurs potentially playing 4-5-1 on occasions; they certainly do not pose enough of a threat when playing up front by themselves.
Tottenham have been linked with many strikers this summer, but two men who it would appear caught their interest more so than others were the two Uruguayans, Luiz Suarez and Diego Forlan. And now that it seems neither will be joining Spurs, the talk of adding a striker has begun to cool down. It’s understandable that Redknapp is only interested in bringing in someone of definitive class as a frontman, who would be a no-risk guarantee with bundles of experience, who would enhance the quality of the team immediately, and who could give him 40 games this season, injury permitting, no questions asked. Otherwise it would seem he feels those already there can do enough.
However, even if it looks like he can’t get those he wants, he must continue his search. These types of players naturally are expensive, and are not always available to buy, so even if the search is difficult, he must continue to persist anyway or else Spurs could find himself falling short of goals this season. It may require Redknapp to look further, and it may require them spending relatively big, maybe someone like who Fernando Llorente at Athletic Bilbao, but essentially the problem is that only Defoe really guarantees a significant tally of goals, so without him in the team they could be caught out.
No-one in the Premier League who is available really fits the profile. Even if they sign Bellamy, he will probably be used as much as a wide player as anything else. So he needs to get the scouts working hard, whether they buy experience or a young talent who could give them at least an extra 20 or 25 games next season, and some much needed extra goals, because if Spurs don’t sign by end of August, they should beware undoing all the hard work of last season.
Written By Darren Doherty