Names have been floated, dashed and floated again as three prime candidates seem to have come to the fore of Spurs’ wish list: David Villa, Roberto Soldado and Christian Benteke.
Last season, Tottenham dithered while looking for a top-flight striker after signing Emmanuel Adebayor. The forward position became a source of much consternation as the season went on and Spurs can ill afford to see another transfer window wasted fixing the forward spots.
So what does it take to sign one of the three scorers listed above? And is the money worth the value they present?
Here is a quick list of values seen floating about the Internet.
Seller Value = €14 million (£12 million)
The man tipped to be the first of the forwards into White Hart Lane, Villa and Soldado had plenty of time to buddy up at the Confederations Cup. Outside of the hammering of Tahiti, Villa’s most notable contributions came in forcing two very good saves out of Julio Cesar in the final.
Villa’s season at Barcelona started off slowly because of the recovery from a broken leg in the 2011-12 season. Forced to play as a substitute early in the year, the Spaniard hit 11 goals in 38 total appearances for the club.
Much of Villa’s potency was lost due to being pushed wide for Lionel Messi, a position the forward did not always look comfortable in. While it did show his ability to adapt to a new spot, Villa would still be most comfortable as the poacher extraordinaire in any lineup.
While Andre Villas-Boas certainly is an admirer of the Spaniard, a transfer for a soon-to-be 32-year-old seems highly antithetical to the plan put in place by Daniel Levy. It does represent a bit of a gamble but one AVB is clearly willing to take.
Seller Value = €30 million (£25.7 million)
Marca were the first to point out that Valencia have no intentions of selling the Spanish forward unless a club is ready to reach the buyout clause in his contract. The €30 million sought for the Spaniard seems very high considering some numbers floated for other top forwards.
Soldado had the best scoring touch of the three contenders, landing 28 goals in 42 matches for Valencia. The Spaniard has a bit more range to his scoring style but poaches much like David Villa when in front of goal.
Soldado tended to hit goals in bunches, including a fierce flurry towards the end of the campaign in which the forward bagged 10 goals in the final eight matches. Scoring away from the Mestalla, however, was not a strong suit as Soldado only scored eight away from home, six of which came in the frantic last stretch of the season.
Seller Value = €29.2 million (£25 million)
Villa’s Belgian hitman became a smash hit while helping keep the Villans above water last term. Though he came to England with little fanfare, Benteke ended the season as one of the hottest names in the Premier League.
Compared to the Spaniard forwards, Benteke is a completely different kind of beast. A physical specimen of only 22 years of age, the Belgian is willing to bang with defenders but possessed the kind of touch and lethal finishing that has made him a wanted man.
Nineteen goals in 34 matches was a healthy return for a club that struggled to find its way to goal last term. With nine of those goals coming on the road, Benteke proved a handful no matter who the opposition was.
Having seen the numbers, who represents the best value for the money?
While the goal-scoring tally of Soldado was highest for the cash and Villa represents the cheapest option, Benteke seems to fit more of Tottenham’s mold than the other two players. Plus, having already gotten a season of Premier League play under his belt, the Belgian already knows what to expect and proved he could produce the goods.
While the experience factor certainly does not side with Benteke on a major stage, having a different option at the forward spot would suit Spurs well when staring down a wall of 11 men.