Soldado Worth Those Extra Few Quid...

When you look at his stats in comparison to those of Jermain Defoe or Emmanuel Adebayor, it becomes clear that he should be worth those exttra few quid...

Last Updated: 23/07/13 at 17:50 Post Comment

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It's fair to say that Andre Villas-Boas hasn't had it all his own way in the current transfer window, despite securing the services of Paulinho, who was believed to be the main target. Their urgency to sign the Brazilian was clear when the club broke their transfer record to bring the dynamic midfielder to north London, though that record - believed to be around £17m - could yet be smashed as Daniel Levy looks to sign the elusive striker they so desperately need.

Having already failed in bids to sign the likes of David Villa, who chose Atletico Madrid, and Christian Benteke, who remarkably completed a u-turn to sign a new deal at Villa, Spurs' options are getting a little thin on the ground. Long-time target Leandro Damiao looks set for Napoli, though in truth he hasn't developed the way that Tottenham would have hoped, and things are beginning to look bleak at White Hart Lane.

Ever ready to help, WhoScored.com take a look at the stats behind the latest striker to take Tottenham's fancy.

Step forward Valencia captain and top scorer Soldado, with rumours of a transfer running hot and cold. There is certainly a feeling that Tottenham are being charged over the odds for the Spain international, with los Che seemingly chasing an initial fee in excess of Spurs' £22m valuation; after all, this is a player that recently turned 28. However, if the club could get three or four successful seasons out of him, the risk would certainly be quashed.

If Spurs could wrap up a deal that suits both parties, the good news is that Soldado is a consistent performer, netting over 15 goals in each of the last four La Liga seasons, culminating in his most profitable campaign to date last time around, with 24 goals to his name. It's a level of performance that the club's current strikers have been unable to sustain, with the form of Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor often fluctuating between spells out on the sidelines.

The strike duo netted just 16 goals between them in the 2012/13 season and Tottenham constantly found themselves looking to Gareth Bale to dig them out of holes, particularly in the latter half of the season. A key stat that needs addressing is the fact that only four teams in the league saw a lower percentage of their goals (excluding own goals) scored by starting centre-forwards than Spurs (24.2%) last season. In contrast, 38.5% of Valencia's superior goal tally (65 to 62) were scored by the starting strikers, with Soldado occupying that role in 33 of their 38 La Liga games.

A look further into the Spaniard's attacking stats in comparison to the aforementioned Tottenham pair confirms that if they were to sign Soldado, Spurs would be making a significant step in the right direction.



The Valencia marksman's 24-goal tally last season came from an average of 2.86 shots per game. While that's a significant advance on shot-shy Adebayor's 1.68 it's actually down on Defoe's figure of 3.18, despite scoring more than twice as many goals. In turn, Soldado's chance conversion rate - an all-important striking statistic - of 24% is more than double that of either Defoe (10.2%) or Adebayor (11.9%), who both boasted meagre figures.

That's not to say that Soldado was always accurate though, with his shot accuracy of 46% only marginally better than Adebayor (45.2%) but again a considerable improvement on Defoe (38%). But when he did hit the target, the 28-year old's shots got the better of the opposing keeper more often than not, with an 'on target conversion rate' of 52.2%. Again, that's a huge step up from Defoe (26.8%) and Adebayor (26.3%), whose efforts on target were all too often stoppable.

Soldado is the definitive poacher, with all 24 of his strikes coming from inside the box last season. That's the sort of player that Spurs need, with only bottom club QPR scoring a lower percentage of their goals from inside the box (again excluding own goals) than Tottenham's 74.2% - with Gareth Bale having netted nine league goals from distance. The vast majority of Soldado's strikes came via his trusty right boot (19), but he has ability in the air too, scoring four headed efforts last season, and he'd be able to connect with any deliveries from the likes of Bale and Lennon.

With many tipping Spurs to adopt Villas-Boas' favoured 4-3-3 system next season, Soldado would be the spearhead of the attack, and though it's not a role that he's played frequently, he excelled in such a formation last season. Valencia only played three up front twice in La Liga, with Soldado the focal point on both occasions. The forward netted four goals in those matches, with a brace in January against Sevilla and another against the same opponents on the final day of last season.

If Soldado could replicate that form at White Hart Lane, Spurs fans could end up relieved at their failure to sign earlier targets. But if they miss out on this marksman, it could be the one they live to regret the most.

Martin Laurence - follow him on Twitter.

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.

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