Having joined Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, for a club record breaking fee of £26 million from Valencia, Spurs showed the other Premier League teams this year that they mean business!
Roberto Soldado looked to be the perfect signing to fit into an ever growing Spurs side looking to push for Champions League football on a yearly basis. Soldado was on top form for Valencia in previous years, having made 101 La Liga appearances, and scoring 59 goals for the club – and also becoming a Spanish international, making 12 appearances and scoring 7 goals.
During the 2012/2013 La Liga season, Soldado finished 5th in the top goal scorer charts, having bagged 24 goals and only finishing behind Lionel Messi (46), Cristiano Ronaldo (34), Radamel Falcao (28) and Alvaro Negredo (25) . On the face of it, Tottenham looked to have signed a natural born goal scorer, but more importantly something that they may have lacked in previous seasons: a world class consistent goal scorer.
Roberto was one of many brought in during the summer to try and bulk up the Spurs side to add more strength and depth into the squad, enabling them to last the duration of the Premier League season. He was brought in alongside 6 other signings which saw the club spend a jaw-dropping £100 million. However, since joining the North London side, Roberto seems to have lost his lucky pants and the goals just aren’t flowing like they did under the sunny skies of Spain!
Soldado has made 8 appearances and 1 sub appearance in the Premier League so far this season and has found the net on 4 occasions which doesn’t really sound all that bad, or does it? Looking into Roberto’s goals for Tottenham this season, 3 have been penalty kicks and only one from open play; but, all 4 goals have been scored from inside the box. So is the Spurs number 9 scoring enough from open play? With an average of 46.93 MPS (minutes per shot) he really isn’t getting enough shots away for a side pushing top 4 in the Premier League, compared with in-form Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge’s 28.06 MPS, Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud takes 29.79 MPS and even Southampton’s Rickie Lambert is up there, taking 30.19 MPS. But it doesn’t stop there, Roberto Soldado’s MPT (minutes per shot on target) currently stands at 78.22, having had only 15 shots in the whole campaign to date. The shots are just not frequent enough, or on target enough for a player of his quality, ability and expectation. Roberto Soldado sits in 11th place in the Premier League’s top goal scorer chart after 10 games.
So can he start scoring goals and help Tottenham to a top 4 finish this season? I think it is safe to say that Tottenham have made a step in the right direction by making this signing and this will help them in leaps and bounds in seasons to come. I have always been a believer in letting time work its magic, and this applies to Soldado (and Spurs). I believe that Soldado can help Spurs to a top 4 finish, just with the right support from the fans and the manager, after all the 2013/14 season is only 10 games old and with 4 goals to his name, maybe it was just expectation that caused the pressure. My advice to all the spurs fans is just remember “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.