Predicting Tottenham Hotspurs' Top Goalscorers for 2013-14
Tottenham fans have a lot to look forward to for the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League Season. Spurs finished just short of a Champions League spot last season and hope to find themselves among one of Europe's elite clubs this time around.
The summer months are a turbulent time for all high-profile clubs and it is no different for the North Londoners. Each day brings new reports of Spurs star Gareth Bale's potential transfer to Real Madrid piled with rumors of big name players coming to White Hart Lane.
As it stands, the Welsh Wizard is still with the club and no major signing (besides Brazilian midfielder Paulinho) has taken place.
Here is an early prediction for Tottenham's leading goalscorers for the upcoming season.
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Because Tottenham's striker situation is so bad, Jermain Defoe is almost a no-brainer for this list. As it appears that Spurs has all but given up on Emmanuel Adebayor up top, Defoe is expected to see a lot of playing time this season, especially if the club does not sign a high-profile striker before the transfer window closes.
At 30 years of age, it seems that Defoe's best performances are behind him. The England international netted 15 goals in all competitions last season for Spurs, but that's a far cry from the 20-plus goal scorer from a few seasons past. To his credit, Defoe is a very reliable option at the striker position. If he can stay healthy and put away a few goals early in the season, manager Andre Villas-Boas will likely give him 70 plus minutes regularly.
On the flip side, if Spurs do make that highly anticipated move for a high-profile striker, Defoe's plans of being a major factor this season will likely go sour fairly quickly.
Prediction: 13 goals in 2013-14 (9 in BPL, 4 in all other competitions)
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The American made an impressive start to his Spurs career in his inaugural season with 12 goals in all competitions, including seven in the Premier League. Remember, Dempsey left Fulham last summer after a very successful stint with the Cottagers, finishing fourth in scoring in 2011-12 behind Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero. Dempsey's aspirations for Champions League football was the driving force for his move to the other side of London. While Spurs finished one point behind arch-rivals Arsenal, the team is confident in making a strong bid for a top-four finish this season in Andre Villas-Boas' second year in charge.
Even Dempsey's strong first season with Tottenham isn't enough to keep the rumors at bay. According to The Mirror, Dempsey, along with many of his teammates, could be sold to make room for some big-name signings. While further signings are almost a certainty for Spurs, it is unlikely that the board would ship off a solid attacking threat like Clint Dempsey, especially since Tottenham lack depth at the forward and attacking midfield positions.
There is no reason to believe Dempsey will falter in his sophomore season at White Hart Lane. Deuce has been on fire for the United States national team, including this stunning strike against Germany in a friendly last June.
Prediction: 16 goals in 2013-14 (10 in BPL, 6 in all other competitions)
That's right—one of Tottenham's leading scorers for the 2013-14 season will be a player to be determined or T.B.D., as I like to call him.
What kind of qualities does T.B.D. possess? Well, if you're a Spurs supporter you would hope he is strong, reliable, opportunistic, a poacher, etc. Of course, this is far from likely, as Tottenham have not had such a high-profiled striker since Jurgen Klinsmann graced White Hart Lane in the mid '90s.
So who will it be?
Spurs have shown a lot of interest in Valencia striker Roberto Soldado. In theory, it's a perfect match. Soldado is arguably Spain's top striker, though he is regularly passed up for a starting spot with La Roja in favor of Fernando Torres and David Villa. Speaking of Villa, Spurs have already missed out on his signature after Atletico Madrid swooped in for the former FC Barcelona man. But getting back to Soldado, the only thing keeping him from a move to the Premier League is Valencia's willingness to sell him for anything less than 30 million euros. If Spurs are willing to splash the cash for the Spaniard, their problems at the forward position may be solved.
Tottenham have also shown interest in Brazil's Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Colombian striker Jackson Martinez (FC Porto) and Christian Benteke (Aston Villa), all of whom have declared that they will remain with their clubs, while Aston Villa actually managed to sign Benteke to a four-year deal without a release clause after flirting with relegation last season.
Prediction: 20 goals in 2013-14 (15 in BPL, 5 in all other competitions)
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It's not a matter of if he's the leading scorer of Spurs, it's will he still be with them? Real Madrid appear set to make an 85 million pound bid for Gareth Bale to take his talents to the Spanish capital. While every Spurs supporter dreads the idea of the Welshman's move away from White Hart Lane, the likelihood of Bale leaving this season is slim.
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas insists that Bale will stay with Spurs this season. Bale is a fan of AVB and his coaching style. He credits the Portuguese manager for allowing him the "freedom" to take charge of this Spurs side. Villas-Boas classifies Bale in the same category as Cristiano Ronaldo—and naturally, he will want to avoid having Bale join forces with CR7 in Madrid this season.
All speculation aside, there is no doubt that Bale is a world-class talent. Fresh off 21 Premier League goals and a PFA Players' Player of the Year award for 2012-13, Bale is expected to better himself now that he is maturing as a footballer. At only 24 years of age, Bale's potential for success is on par with some of the best players in the world, such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
Nevertheless, I believe Gareth Bale will serve one more season with Tottenham before being unloaded for a ridiculous sum of cash next summer. And if he continues to score goals like the one against Sunderland on the last match-day of the season, he will be worth every penny.
Prediction: 31 goals in 2013-14 (25 in BPL, 6 in all other competitions)