Why Tottenham Should Keep Going After Leandro Damiao

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Why Tottenham Should Keep Going After Leandro Damiao
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Tottenham faced another disappointing season in 2012/13 but are again looking to strengthen this summer.

One of the top needs for the club is a forward, and Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao has been earmarked as a top target.

Here's Bleacher Report's own Nick Ackerman with a profile and scouting report on the Brazilian international.

The Internacional striker has been linked to the London side as far back as 2011, with the Daily Mail reporting on Spurs' interest then.

More recently, Dominic Fifield of the Guardian claims both Damiao and Valencia striker Roberto Soldado are the forward targets for Tottenham this summer.

While the added interest in one of Spain's top forwards is a significant sign of ambition, Tottenham must persist with trying to sign the 23-year-old Damiao.

His long-term future, skills and ambition are just a few reasons why Damiao would be a wonderful signing.

One positive in this saga is the recent revelations by ESPN FC and Sky Sports that some sort of contact has been made between Tottenham and Damiao's camp.

Both reports also mentioned a claim from Internacional president, Giovanni Luigi, that a deal with Tottenham is likely.

Damiao would make a relatively young and exciting Tottenham side that much more of a threat next season.

His style of play on the pitch and statistics suggest he would be an improvement on both Tottenham's current forwards.

He mixes Emmanuel Adebayor's skill and aerial ability with Jermain Defoe's clinical finishing and has a higher ceiling than both.

His height, decent strength and deceptive pace will also work in favour.

Damiao works hard for his side and can play comfortably in a 4-2-3-1 or in Andre Villas-Boas' preferred 4-3-3 formation.

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His overall tally of 23 goals and six assists in 42 games in 2012 isn't breathtaking, but was still quite productive.

What is astounding is his efficiency, as 70 of his total 135 shots during that time were on target. 

That means that 52 percent of his shots were on target, something that's been the norm for his career so far. 

Neither Adebayor nor Defoe can match that type of efficiency. It may take a little adjustment for him to provide that type of threat in England, but the ability is there.

Top that all of with the high praise he received from Ronaldo during an interview with FIFA.com, and he's a player the London side must get.

One more plus for the situation is that, unlike other big-name targets, Damiao won't scoff at the chance to play in the Europa League. 

Roberto Soldado captained his side to the knockout rounds of the Champions League this season and would likely prefer to stay at his club, even though they will also currently be entering Europe's second-tier competition with two league games remaining.

Damiao's ability to adapt quickly will be the only question mark, but if he provides the quality he is capable of he could be the difference between fourth and fifth place next season.

That is certainly one huge reason for Tottenham to ensure that they capture the Brazilian.

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