Tottenham Hotspur FC: 5 Reasons Clint Dempsey Will Shine on a Top EPL Club
On the last day of this summer's transfer window, striker Clint Dempsey was transferred from Fulham to Tottenham.
This was the move the American was yearning for. He had grown tired at Fulham and refused to play for them any longer.
Dempsey was simply too talented for a mid-table team such as Fulham, and will thrive at his new club for a variety of reasons, all of which relate to Tottenham's status as a top EPL club.
A Better Supporting Cast
Clint Dempsey can look forward to an increase in skill level in his teammates this season at Tottenham.
Fulham is by no means a bad club. They finished ninth in the table last season and had impressive wins over Liverpool and QPR. However, Tottenham in comparison placed fourth in the EPL and have considerably better talent.
Last season, Dempsey relied on the likes of Damien Duff and Danny Murphy to support him in attack. This year, however, he has a greater supply of players to play the ball into him.
Tottenham will need Dempsey to build a strong relationship with midfielders Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Mousa Dembele if they are going to be successful this season.
Dempsey will benefit greatly from having these other attacking options around him. At times last season, teams would focus a great deal of their defensive energy on Dempsey because Fulham lacked any other real threats to score.
With a solid midfield and a forward corps that includes Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor, Tottenham provides Dempsey with sufficient cover that will allow him to not be the sole target of defensive pressure.
The Motivation of the Champions League
Clint Dempsey's transfer saga began when he said, "The transfer window is open until August 31. Its no secret that I would like to play Champions League one day in my career"
Dempsey's decision to join Tottenham was predicated on the idea that they could reach the Champions League next season.
Spurs placed fourth in the EPL last season. This normally would have qualified them for this season's Champions League. Unfortunately for Tottenham, Chelsea's winning of the cup last season automatically qualified them for the Champions League, despite finishing sixth, and bumped Tottenham out.
Dempsey has something to play for this season. If Tottenham is to reach the top four of the EPL and qualify for Champions League, he will need to adjust quickly and remain the goal scoring threat he was for the Cottagers.
Dempsey might be the final puzzle piece Tottenham needs to not only qualify, but compete, in the Champions League.
He is a Great Fit
Last season, Clint Dempsey proved that he is one of the top forwards in the Premier League. He will be a great fit at White Hart Lane because he offers a different style of play compared to the team's other striking options.
When asked about his play style, Dempsey responded, "I'm not someone who really enjoys playing with my back to the goal, like a traditional target striker. I like either being a withdrawn forward or someone who plays on the left or the right.
"I'm also not a traditional winger. I'm someone who kind of comes inside and tries to get in those pockets and do a lot of link-up play."
Dempsey's ability to dribble through defenses will be a great addition to the poaching of Jermain Defoe and the power of Emmanuel Adebayor.
Despite having different styles of play, and maybe even because of it, both Defoe and Adebayor could develop a dangerous striking combination with Dempsey.
Dempsey's former Fulham teammate Mousa Dembele said, "Clint always is so dangerous. I sent him a message saying I was very happy because he is a fantastic player. He is a good boy so I am very happy that he is here.
Dembele, along with many others, see Dempsey as an excellent fit to an already competitive squad. He will add scoring and pace to a Tottenham team that will continue to prove they are among Europe's elite clubs.
Playing for an Attack-Minded Coach
If history is any evidence, Dempsey will greatly benefit from playing under André Villas-Boas.
When he played under the more defensive-minded Roy Hodgson at Fulham, he scored only seven goals in EPL play. However, under the more offensive-minded Martin Jol, Dempsey found the net 23 times.
Dempsey recently told Spurs TV “I’m very excited. I’m looking forward to the challenge. To play under this manager [André Villas-Boas] and play for this club is a dream come true. I just want to make the most of it and work as hard as I can to get on the field and do well.”
Traditionally, Villas-Boas prefers his teams to be attack oriented. He said, "That is the way I like my teams to play. We obviously know that it is extremely difficult [at Manchester United], but that doesn't mean that you might not be given a chance when you play that [attacking] way."
With speedsters like Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon, and midfielders like Dembele and Scott Parker, AVB will look to attack more and more often this season. Dempsey will benefit from these chances as Tottenham look to push forward.
He Is in His Prime
There is a reason that Tottenham was willing to spend $9.6 million for Clint Dempsey's transfer. Even more importantly, they gave him a three-year contract that guarantees him a spot on one of the most competitive clubs in Europe.
Dempsey is currently playing his best soccer. In the 2009-2010 season, Dempsey scored seven goals. That number grew by five in the next two seasons, and this past season, Dempsey scored 23 goals.
Dempsey is peaking on the international side of the game as well. He is currently leading the United States through qualifications for the 2014 World Cup. Dempsey has scored three goals in the four games he has played in thus far. Last season, he scored five goals in his 12 appearances for the United States.
As a goal scorer, Dempsey has grown and is currently in his prime. He is finally where he wants to be, and the timing could not be more perfect. Dempsey will surely thrive under his new circumstances and the guarantee of his place amongst the best soccer players in the world.