Tottenham Hotspur: Have Spurs Found a Hero to Replace Gareth Bale?
Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Of Tottenham Hotspur's seven signings in the summer transfer window, can any of them fill the void left by the man whose individual transfer fee came close to their combined value?
Perhaps two of the new recruits, Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela, look capable of playing in the marauding role off the front man which the departed Gareth Bale mastered last season, but could academy product Andros Townsend be the surprise man to take on the mantle?
And realistically, is striker Roberto Soldado the only man likely to match Bale's tally of 21 goals in the league alone?
In truth, if the new-look side gels, there may not even be a need for Spurs to rely on a single player to the extent they did last term.
But everyone loves a hero, particularly the glory-seeking Spurs fans.
So with that in mind, we run the rule over Tottenham's attacking midfielders and forwards who have a chance of drawing comparisons with Real Madrid's £85.3 million new signing, and a chance at becoming the next hero of White Hart Lane.
He is billed as a powerful attacking midfielder with an eye for goal, but the Belgian will first have to cement a starting role before he can hope to match the 10 goals he scored last season.
His success in Holland, where he scored 25 times in 84 appearances for FC Twente, is no guarantee of similar fortunes in the Premier League—players such as Dirk Kuyt and Salomon Kalou are evidence of that.
But Chadli's ability to power past defenders and long-range shooting could become a sight to thrill Spurs fans, and he could form an exciting partnership with left-back Danny Rose.
Hero potential: 6/10
Nine months ago, Townsend's days at Spurs looked numbered. Denied first-team opportunities and sent on loan to Queens Park Rangers, the winger seemed to be the latest in a line of young English players who have failed to make the grade at White Hart Lane in recent years.
But after some impressive performances during his loan period, and apparently catching the eye of managers during training, Townsend has been given a chance on the right flank this season, and he has not disappointed.
Pace, trickery and being a product of Tottenham's youth academy could make the 22-year-old a firm favourite at the Lane.
Hero potential: 7/10
Not since the days of Dimitar Berbatov have Spurs had a striker really able to lead the line while weighing in with his fair share of goals—but Soldado might be the next to do so.
A price tag of £26 million and 59 goals in 101 La Liga appearances for Valencia certainly suggest the Spaniard could become the prolific frontman the club has been missing, and he has proved his nerve from the penalty spot with two spot-kicks already this season.
Perhaps if he also shows an ability to score spectacular goals Soldado will become the all-action striker which fans of every club crave.
Hero potential: 8/10
All reports about the Argentinian suggest Spurs have snapped up one of the most exciting prospects playing anywhere in Europe.
During his two years at AS Roma he has shown pace, moments of magical skill and the ability to score spectacular goals, leading to claims from the club's legendary captain Francesco Totti that Lamela could go on to match his achievements at the Stadio Olimpico.
This was not to be after Spurs snatched him this summer for £25.8 million, and now Tottenham legend, Lamela's compatriot Ossie Ardiles, has spoken of his excitement at the new arrival's potential.
Like Bale, this is a player who seems to relish cutting in and firing explosive left-foot shots towards the top corner, and if he is able to settle at Spurs the sight of Lamela in full flow is likely to be what has the fans on the edge of their seats at White Hart Lane.
Hero potential: 9/10
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?