Football FanCast columnist ‘The New Voice of Football' feels a swap involving Pavlyuchenko and Huntelaar would represent a good bit of business all round.
The latest media reports are suggesting that Roman Pavlyuchenko is destined to leave Tottenham in January for Serie A giants, AC Milan, with Dutch hit-man Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to depart the Rossoneri and arrive at White Hart Lane in a straight swap deal. I for one think this is a deal, where all parties will benefit for a change and if somebody is going to get the thin end of the wedge, it's Milan.
I don't think Roman has turned into a poor striker, despite looking positively lazy and not being able to hit a cow's arse with a banjo in the Premier League since his £14million arrival from Spartak Moscow last summer. The Russian not being able to grab, what was a decent opportunity at Spurs following the defections of Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane.
Indeed the stage was set for Pav to be the top dog of a Tottenham attack that was not filled with names that would strike fear into the hearts of opposing defenders. Darren Bent, was never right for Spurs and the acquisition of Fraizer Campbell on loan as part of the Berbatov deal, was at best a desperate attempt to plug the huge void left upfront by the sales of Dimitar and Robbie.
The return of Keane and Defoe in January testament to the fact, Pavlyuchenko had failed to establish himself at White Hart Lane. Now I know the Russian had played a lot of continuous football, given EURO 2008 and the difference in when the Russian and English leagues are played. However, after a full pre-season and a season of English football under his belt, where does Roman find himself now?
A very distant fourth-choice behind Defoe, Keane and summer signing Peter Crouch! So far behind in fact, that would anyone really have noticed if Pavlyuchenko had left North London in the summer? His goals in the Carling Cup last term not enough to justify the £14million price-tag or even a place in the squad of a team, that has ambitions of gate-crashing the top four in the present campaign in my book. Like Bent before him, Pavlyuchenko is another player that has simply failed to produce the goods at Tottenham.
Now with Keane, Defoe and Crouch all seemingly on fire this season. It has been widely suggested, that Harry has no need to tinker with his striking options, come what January. But surely the swapping of a striker, who is looking like deadwood at Spurs for one, who by all accounts was high on Harry's wish list in the summer makes sense?
Huntelaar for me is a much more polished version of what Tottenham thought they had purchased last summer, with a much better goalscoring ratio and being Dutch, should have little trouble adapting to life in England as he speaks fluent English like the majority of Dutch people. His move to the San Siro never going to be easy in terms of fitting in as Carlo Ancelotti had left a squad full of Italians for Leonardo, with Clarence Seedorf, the only familiar face at the Milanese side for Huntelaar, with American Oguchi Onyewu the only other player at the Italian side the striker is likely to be able to communicate with freely.
Huntelaar is almost two-years younger than Pavlyuchenko, would come as a straight swap and although Tottenham might have to find a little more in wages to secure the services of the former Ajax and Real Madrid forward. Wouldn't this be a small price to pay in terms of improving the squad at White Hart Lane? After all this is what is needed if Spurs are to make steps forward, improvements year-in-year-out.
Klaas might have failed to score in his seven appearances for Milan in the Scudetto since being shunted out of the Bernabeu in the summer, but they say form is temporary and class is permanent and Huntelaar definitely comes under the bracket of the latter for me.
Should this deal happen in January, then I feel Tottenham can only prosper from getting a second bite of the cherry in signing Huntelaar. Younger than Pavlyuchenko more prolific at both club and International level, with the added bonus of being able to speak English. The signing of Huntelaar should be seen as a positive one and not pointless tinkering, with his addition to the squad only likely to improve it.
Pavlyuchenko just hasn't cut the mustard at Spurs and despite never really warming to him as a striker, he is an honest player, who I will wish all the best to, should he leave for pastures new as expected in January. Especially if his departure sees the arrival of Huntelaar at White Hart Lane!
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