Arguably the biggest victim of man-of-the-moment Rafael Van der Vaart’s scintillating arrival to the Premier League has been Giovani Dos Santos. There were many – including this writer – who thought that the Mexican forward’s performances in the World Cup, as well as some encouraging pre-season form, was enough to force his way into first team recognition.
Certainly a large amount of Spurs fans were getting excited by the prospect of Giovani finally proving his worth. The talk of his possible departure has had a whole host of suitors and admirers confirming their interest in his services, only highlighting how good a player he actually is. Napoli, Roma, Fiorentina, Villerreal, Sevilla and even Liverpool have all been muted as possible destinations, and they may be far more willing to give the player a chance to recreate his national performances.
In the summer, Spurs’ forums were awash with talk about this being Giovani’s year. The stresses on the squad through the increase in fixtures, and the added pressure of the Champions League, meant that Spurs’ squad was going to get tested to the fullest. Players like Giovani, who had previously been shunned, would be given games just out of the sheer number of fixtures, and then it would simply take a couple of good performances to prove he was worth more game time.
That run of games never happened, and when Daniel Levy gave Redknapp his end of window present in the shape of Van der Vaart, Giovani slid even further down the pecking order.
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Clearly in the Van der Vaart wonderland that is now happening at White Hart Lane, the potential future of Giovani isn’t that big an issue, as it appears Rafael can solve every problem that exists, such has his start to his Spurs career been. It is however a shame, that such a talented player (34 caps for his country and still only 21) has found such a hard time of it during his time in England; with all due respect, Giovani is too good to be going to Ipswich on loan.
Part of the blame must at least lie with the player himself, had he been played as well as he clearly can do, then he would be starting more games than he has. That said, I do think his opportunities have been at an absolute premium. What about those occasions that David Bentley was getting starts last season? Had Giovani not been shipped off to Turkey, those starts could have been his. In a club with the busiest physio in professional football, he must have believed that at some point his chance would come, but alas, it is clearly not to be, and White Hart Lane is not his home.
And so a potential star looks to be heading for his exit; supremely gifted, but maybe just not cut out for the club. Ask any Spurs fan how they feel, and I’m sure they will feel the situation is a shame, because there was genuine excitement amongst them in the summer about Giovani. That said, any resentment will be blown off their face as soon as VDV’s name is mentioned. The Dutchmen had a similar problem at Real, to which Giovani is having at Spurs, and a move away, even at this ludicrously early stage, looks to already have been proven as the right decision. Maybe Giovani now has to do the same.
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