Will Spurs Have To Cut Losses On Soldado?

Following another disappointing display on Thursday, Matt Stanger wonders if Roberto Soldado could be sold in the summer. What coach would want him leading the line?

Last Updated: 20/03/14 at 20:32 Post Comment

Latest Articles

He's Solved 'The Rojo Problem' Before...


Before the World Cup it was a nation believing that Marcos Rojo was their weak link (think G Johnson) and now it's cynicism at his £16m move. Can he prove folk wrong again?

Chambers' Poise Impresses Again


It was a gritty result for Arsenal on a difficult night in Istanbul. Olivier Giroud struggled, but Calum Chambers again looked assured on a higher stage...

All Articles

For 70 minutes of their 2-2 draw against Benfica on Thursday evening, Tottenham were awful. And then Roberto Soldado was substituted. It might be cruel to highlight the Spaniard's exit as the turning point in the match, but suddenly Spurs had belief in the final third as Nacer Chadli's brace made Benfica sweat while his £26m teammate could only watch from the bench.

Tim Sherwood chose to sit in the stand at the Stadium of Light, reportedly so that he could gain a better perspective on his team's performance (although avoiding a renewal of his feud with Jorge Jesus was also a suggestion). He won't have been impressed with Soldado's contribution. The striker volleyed an excellent first-half chance into the ground, sending the ball looping over the bar, and then, well, did very little else.

If he isn't going to gobble up such gilt-edged opportunities, you have to wonder what exactly it is that Soldado is going to do. His movement is poor - at times, terrible - and he repeatedly fails to find space and stretch the play in the wide areas. There have been plenty of slow-motion replays this season of a lifeless Soldado inexplicably standing outside the box as Spurs' wingers have surged forward to cross into dangerous areas. He is never going to be a target man in the role Emmanuel Adebayor usually performs, but it seems his penalty-box instincts have also gone AWOL.

Daniel Levy should be concerned, along with Sherwood - if we are to believe the manager's claim that he will remain in charge next season. "It's out of my hands but I believe I'll be here next year," he said on Thursday. "I'm planning for next season. The players are playing for their futures." Top of the list is a striker with only six goals from open play in 31 appearances.

It is clear that Sherwood isn't a fan of Soldado. The forward has started only four of Spurs' last ten fixtures (three of which came in the Europa League) and has been pushed to the margins of the first team while Adebayor's contribution has been championed. When he scored his first goal for nine matches against Cardiff, the celebration from his teammates was almost patronising - even the mediocre Andros Townsend could be seen pointing to Soldado, almost in disbelief at what had happened.

It has reached a stage of embarrassment in which the striker's future at the club is becoming increasingly untenable. Spurs have not had great fortune in the recruitment of number nines over recent years, and there is diminishing hope that Soldado can be a rare example of unexpected transformation. Just a year after the 28-year-old arrived as the club's record signing, it already seems a possibility that he could be flogged to the highest bidder.

If that proves to be the case, it will serve as further condemnation of Spurs' rip-it-up-and-start-again approach under Levy. But what choice will the chairman have if he appoints the club's third manager in 12 months? Different coaches favour different players - as Sherwood's replacement of Villas-Boas has proved - and, on the evidence of this season, it's difficult to see anyone backing Soldado to lead the line next year.

Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments


air play to the lad. I'd like to think I 'd have no fear of heading off to the other side of the world to coach, but in truth, I don't have the cajones. Hopefully he can make a decent living out of it.

Brit Coaches Abroad: Jack Brazil


was reticent with this signing, bringing our outlay on left backs to £50m + a Nani loan (and still paying his wages). However, if he's better than Pele then who am I to complain...

mufc phil
He's Solved 'The Rojo Problem' Before...


K FIFA we're done, you can ban us now

Barcelona transfer ban upheld

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Arsene Wenger keen to strengthen Arsenal's defence

Arsene Wenger admits he would like to strengthen his Arsenal squad defensively before the end of the transfer window.

Football Association looking into allegations against Malky Mackay and Iain Moody

The FA is looking into allegations made by Cardiff against former manager Malky Mackay and head of recruitment Iain Moody.

League One: Coventry to return to Ricoh Arena

Coventry City have agreed a two-year deal to return to the Ricoh Arena.

Mail Box

Rojo Is A Better Signing Than Hummels

There's some big talk in the morning mailbox, which claims that Man United were right to sign Marcos Rojo instead of Mats Hummels. Plus, one Gooner's happy Arteta's out...

So Long And Good Luck To Nani

A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property