Tottenham: Is Luis Fernando Tena Right That Giovani Dos Santos Must Leave Spurs?
Of the great performances at the Olympic football tournament today, the best one that you might have missed was Giovani dos Santos's brace against Gabon.
The Mexican striker has excelled on the international stage, scoring 14 goals in 59 appearances including a goal in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final against the United States.
However, dos Santos has never been able to establish himself in the same way at the club level with Tottenham.
A 19-year-old Giovani joined the Spurs from Barcelona in the summer of 2008 with manager Juande Ramos.
Within six months, however, Ramos was sacked and replaced by Harry Redknapp.
Since then, dos Santos has not been able to find a consistent place in the squad, and was even loaned out to three different clubs (Ipswich Town in 2009, Galatasaray in 2010 and Racing Santander in 2011).
Hence, Giovani's lack of form has led to questions about his usefulness to the national team. Even in these Olympics, his role is that of a substitute (despite scoring both of Mexico's goals and coming close against South Korea).
So it comes as no shock, and is quite understandable, that Mexico's coach at this Olympics, Luis Fernando Tena, made remarks that clearly advised dos Santos to depart White Hart Lane (via ESPN):
He definitely needs to find his rhythm. He has the potential to achieve things and it would be better if he had that rhythm at club level.Julian Finney/Getty Images
Unfortunately he doesn't get that many minutes on the pitch at Tottenham. It will be better if he played more at club level and then he can give more to Mexico.
Is the coach correct in saying this? Will the 23-year-old striker take his coach's advice?
Well, if Harry Redknapp were still managing the Spurs, I would have no hesitation in agreeing with Tena. Redknapp made it abundantly clear that Gio had no place in his side. So, staying at Tottenham would have been a terrible decision for dos Santos.
But, there is a caveat. Redknapp is not managing Spurs. After he was fired in June, Andre Villas-Boas took over as manager of Tottenham.
There is a good chance dos Santos will fit much better into the AVB style than he did during 'Arry's days, and will thus find more playing time.
That being said, I would completely understand if the Mexican decides to leave the club. After all, he was brought in with high expectations, and yet has just 33 appearances in four years with the Spurs.
Naturally, there must be a slight feeling of resentment toward the club, deserved or not.
Perhaps that was what manifested itself in Giovani's comments earlier this month about leaving the club.
Further, I would also understand if AVB decides he can't risk having dos Santos around given his slight disgruntlement. After all, after Villas-Boas's terrible experience with the locker room at Chelsea, I doubt he will want to risk having such a player around.
Do you want to see dos Santos stay at Tottenham?
Perhaps that was what manifested itself in AVB's clear anger over the Mexican's comments about leaving the club.
However, I would have to disagree with Tena about his advice to dos Santos. The Mexican does not need to leave the club in order to progress in his career.
There is a good chance that he will fit well into Villas-Boas's plans for the season, in which case he would surely benefit from top-flight play in a Premier League side.
But will he decide to stay?
The Daily Mail is reporting the rumor that there is a strong possibility Gio stays at White Hart Lane this season.
Even if this is true, it does not guarantee that dos Santos will be at White Hart Lane come September 1.
But, if Gio can thrive in Tottenham in a similar way he has at the international level, he could be a huge asset for Spurs and their future.
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