After a summer of chasing Southampton’s stars, Spurs are set to head back to the South Coast in January with a swag bag over their shoulder to nab Jay Rodriguez. The injured attacker is believed to be one of Mauricio Pochettino’s favoured targets, but in order to nab him they may need to offer a player in exchange to tempt the high-flying Saints.
One star to have been linked with a swap deal is Harry Kane, who has been, arguably, the north Londoners’ best forward this term. So would this deal make sense for Southampton?
We think so, and here are FIVE reasons why…
While Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor have been, well… awful this season, Kane has actually performed well in the white shirt of Spurs. Mauricio Pochettino handed his young striker his first premier League start of the season ahead of the international break at home to Stoke as reward for the hit-man’s eight goals in 13 appearances – although the less aid about that, the better.
Such a record puts him streets ahead of Adebayor and Soldado, while only Graziano Pelle in the Southampton squad boasts a better return. When you take into account that the majority of Kane’s outings have not been for full 90-minute periods – one of which he ended up in goal! – his record is all the more impressive.
Rodriguez’s injury at the back end of last season was a real shame. The versatile forward had been enjoying, arguably, the season of his life, and was on the verge of making England’s World Cup squad – which may have been a good thing to avoid, on reflection. ACL problems are, on the whole, bad news for footballers. The knee is, obviously, a major joint in terms of movement, and damage to ligaments tends not to heal 100%, leaving the problem open to becoming a recurring one.
The medical staff at Southampton are understood to have done a thorough job with J-Rod and are not rushing him back, but an attractive fee for a player who may be a long-term risk might never come along again…
Kane as a straight swap for Rodriguez just won’t happen. The players themselves are miles apart in terms of value, so Spurs will have to put cash down alongside their striker to land their target. With J-Rod, according to reports, having a price-tag of between £20m-£25m, It’s likely that Tottenham will have to offer at the very least £10m plus Kane for the ex-Burnley man, which may well be attractive to the Saints. There is also the possibility of Andros Townsend being involved.
Whatever way you look at it, Southampton have made a simply stunning start to the season. The losses of big name players and an opening day defeat at the hands of Liverpool – who ironically had signed Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert – had set the Saints up for a horrible 2014/15, but a terrific run of form since then sees them second to only to Chelsea with 25 points and eight wins to their name. All of this has been achieved without Jay Rodriguez, so there’s no reason the push cannot continue if he leaves.
Dusan Tadic and Sadio Mane are both able to operate on the flanks or in a central ‘No.10’ role, so Ronald Koeman has option should he be unable to ever use Rodriguez. The Dutchman’s current set-up is one full of pace and fluidity, so having J-Rod is not an absolute necessity for the ex-Feyenoord coach, who has already shown that he can use money wisely in the transfer market to replace big name stars.