Tottenham Hotspur: How Spurs' Strikers Stack Up to the Rest of the League

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Tottenham Hotspur: How Spurs' Strikers Stack Up to the Rest of the League
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When January ended and the transfer window came to a close, Tottenham supporters were left scratching their heads at their club's inability to acquire a new striker.

As it would seem, the majority of deadline day at White Hart Lane was spent chasing the signature of the young Brazilian Leandro Damiao, an endeavor which failed due to Internacional's high price tag.

While fans may forgive Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and manager Andre Villas-Boas for their inability to sign Damiao for a price they deemed reasonable, their obvious lack of a backup plan meant that the club were stuck with a precarious situation at striker for the rest of the season.

After all, with only two experienced recognized strikers in Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor, the side entered the final few months of their season with little to no depth at one of the most important positions in football.

Over the past few weeks, the problem has just been compounded, as Defoe suffered an injury and Adebayor returned late from the Africa Cup of Nations.

While Gareth Bale's fantastic performances have bailed Spurs out in their past few league fixtures, it seems clear that the striker position is one that needs to be addressed by the club this summer.

The question that arises from this need, though, is whether the club should buy a more supporting striker to merely add depth or opt for an overhaul and buy replacements for their current duo.

To see the answer to this question, one needs to look no further than a statistical breakdown of this season's Premier League strikers.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

In this table of data compiled from WhoScored.com, Defoe and Adebayor are compared with 17 other Premier League strikers in two categories: The percentage of their shots that are goals and their rate of key passes per match.

The other strikers in the table are some of the top performers this season: Manchester United's Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez; Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge; Chelsea's Demba Ba and Fernando Torres; Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko; West Brom's Peter Odemwingie and Shane Long; Aston Villa's Christian Benteke; Southampton's Rickie Lambert; Everton's Marouane Fellaini; Fulham's Dimitar Berbatov; Stoke City's Peter Crouch and Swansea City's Michu.

Player(s) Goal Rate Key Pass Rate
Adebayor/Defoe 11.64% 1.02
van Persie 21.15% 1.70
Rooney 14.86% 1.91
Chicharito 24.44% 0.70
Suarez 11.76% 2.46
Sturridge 16.00% 0.82
Ba 14.29% 0.60
Torres 13.16% 1.03
Aguero 13.25% 1.22
Dzeko 18.06% 1.03
Odemwingie 12.50% 1.39
Long 18.75% 0.82
Benteke 14.86% 1.48
Lambert 16.92% 2.08
Fellaini 15.15% 1.29
Berbatov 15.38% 1.71
Crouch 17.24% 1.09
Michu 20.00% 1.08

Obviously, the Tottenham duo have the lowest conversion rate in the league.

In fact, the only person they are even close to, Luis Suarez, has about double the rate of key passes that they do, showing his value in a different facet.

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Meanwhile, the rate of key passes by Defoe and Adebayor is quite low on the list as well, ahead of just four others.

However, each of these four (Javier Hernandez, Daniel Sturridge, Demba Ba and Shane Long) are at least three percentage points higher in their goal rate.

Upon examination, the numbers are quite alarming for the strikers of a club vying for the Champions League.

After all, amongst this list of 18 Premier League performers, their numbers stand out as the worst.

If they don't stack up against other English sides, how will they do if pitted against the best of Europe?

Come the summer, Tottenham should probably start browsing the market for one or two new starting strikers, especially if they qualify for the Champions League.

 

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