I don't know why, but for some reason I seem to be writing an awful lot about American footballers lately. Obviously, this is not a proposition that I particularly enjoy, but when there's not much going on in the world of football then this is what I must do. On transfer deadline day Tottenham Hotspur signed another American—Brad Friedel is American despite his ridiculous accent—in attacker Clint Dempsey. Now, another "American" is being thrown around as a solution to Tottenham's striker woes.
At this point you may be asking why I put the word American in quotes. Well, that's because Giuseppi Rossi is only a pseudo-American. That's right, the former Manchester United player and current Villarreal wantaway is once again being linked with a move to Spurs. Many claim that Rossi could be the striker that Spurs have been desperately seeking over the past few years. Those people would be idiots.
First of all, I admit that referring to Rossi as American was my little way of poking fun at all you USMNT fan boys. I know some of you love to fantasize about the ones that got away—Rossi, Neven Subotic, Vedad Ibisevic, and Andy Najar specifically. So, now that I've had my fun I'll go back to referring to Rossi as Italian.
Rossi has spent the last year on the sidelines due to two new injuries. He has yet to return to full-fitness, but there seems to be little doubt that Villarreal, who were relegated to the Segunda after last season and are in need of some cash, will attempt to sell Rossi in January. Last summer, when Tottenham were originally interested in Rossi, the price was rumored to be £30 million. Now, following an injury-plagued season and the team no longer playing top-flight football the price should be closer to half of that if not less.
Giuseppe Rossi is a good footballer. He's also a pretty good striker. Discounting his shortened 2011-12 season, he scored 64 goals in the previous three seasons with the Yellow Submarine, including 32 in 2010-11. The problem, however, is that Rossi is not the type of striker that Tottenham needs. Rossi is much more suited to playing as a second striker. He often partnered with Nilmar during his most successful season with Villarreal. Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas does not seem inclined to use a formation that utilizes a second striker and that puts into question just how useful Rossi would be.
The best comparison for Rossi might be former Spurs attacker Rafael van der Vaart. As we all know, the Dutchman was sold to Hamburger SV this summer. He was probably sold because he doesn't quite fit AVB's system (or because we got an excellent return on our investment), so bringing in a similar player doesn't make much sense. Rossi does not compare favorably to Jermain Defoe, who Tottenham have used as a lone striker. Defoe, despite his stature has the strength to hold up the ball decently well and has a good deal of pace. Rossi, in my opinion, does not possess either of those attributes. Rossi is certainly a more competent dribbler and distributor than Defoe, but if he's the lone striker who is he going to distribute the ball to and who is going to hold the ball up for the Spurs attack?
Tottenham need a competent number 9. A striker who can lead the line for the Club in Andre Villas-Boas prefered 4-3-3 formation. That means a player like Fernando Llorente, Falcao, Leandro Damiao, etc. Sure, none of those players may ever come to Spurs, but those are the type of players Tottenham need. Giuseppi Rossi may be a good value buy and he may be a good player, but he's definitely not the answer to Tottenham Hotspurs striker questions.