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The final player I think Tottenham must work to sell is Peter Crouch. I know what some of you are thinking: Are you kidding? Why would we sell the striker who started the most games for us last season, and scored seven goals for us in the Champions League?
But slow down and take a closer look at Crouch's numbers. Crouch scored an abysmal four goals in 34 games, and if you take away his brace against Stoke City, that leaves him with two goals in 33 matches. Considering Tottenham played with only one striker towards the end of the season, that is just awful, no matter which way you look at it.
Even in the Champions League, Crouch had one game (vs Young Boys) where he was amazing and scored three goals; otherwise he did little more than tap the ball in to score his goals.
Still, some Crouch lovers will argue that what Crouch lacks in goals, he makes up for with knock-down headers that turn into assists; indeed, he recorded 10 assists in his 34 league games last season.
But that isn't what Tottenham need up front. That type of play (where Spurs cross the ball to hope for a headed goal or knocked-down assist) may work against weaker teams with weak defenses in the EPL, but against the big teams and Champions League, Tottenham need a striker who can make his presence felt and be a difference maker.
Last season, Crouch either failed to do this, or did it in the wrong way—i.e., scoring an own-goal vs Man City to officially knock Tottenham out of the race for the Top Four, or getting himself sent off vs Real Madrid 15 minutes into the game to effectively knock Tottenham out of the Champions League before they even got to put up a fight.
The last argument that Crouch lovers might make is that Pavlyuchenko or Defoe deserve to go instead of Crouch. But both strikers offer more going into the next season than Crouch does.
Defoe, despite a rough season spent dealing with various injuries, scored the same number of league goals as Crouch did with roughly half as many minutes. He deserves at least another half of a season to see if he can shake off his injuries and return to being the Defoe of 2009-10.
Pavlyuchenko, despite being third-choice striker for most of the season, had a solid goal return of 10 goals in 1,571 league minutes, giving him an average of one goal per 157 minutes (or more than one goal every two games).
He also demonstrated that he has the ability to be an excellent super-sub for Tottenham, scoring on three occasions as a sub, the last occasion being the last match of season in which his brace won the game for Tottenham and relegated Birmingham City.
Assuming that Tottenham are able to pick up a capable striker in the transfer market, Crouch should go into the 2011-12 season as Tottenham's fourth-choice striker. Rather than have him rot on the bench and lose value, Tottenham should take advantage of interest from clubs like Sunderland and sell him while his value is high.