I have a confession to make: I've never been down with this 'the striker' movement that's started up around here. I do not agree that we need a world class or could-someday-be world class striker to progress as a football club. It would be nice to sign a Leandro Damiao, or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but we don't need them. I'm still down with #weneedastriker, not #weneedTHEstriker.
The reason is pretty simple: I already think that Tottenham Hotspur are the fourth best team in the Premier League. If one of either Jermain Defoe or Emmanuel Adebayor is available for each of Tottenham's games from now until the end of the season, I believe that Spurs have a better squad than Arsenal and Liverpool (even if I wrote about how I think Liverpool have a good shot at fourth place today).
But, it's close. It's really close. I could see Everton nicking fourth if they get lucky enough with the fitness of their first-team players as well. The separation between the teams is minimal, and it won't take much to tip the balance. I think that Coutinho could potentially do it for Liverpool. I definitely think that Mohamed Diame could potentially do it for Arsenal.
These guys are not superstars. Diame is an excellent player who would improve any team, but he's not Bastian Scheweinsteiger, or even Sandro or Sami Khedira. He's a sufferer (beneficiary?) from 'Big Fish in a Small Pond Syndrome', where the very average journeymen employed by West Ham make him look like Superman. In reality, he's just a Really Good Player. He's a glue guy. He makes your Europa League team into a fourth place team. He's a great bench player for a team competing for a title. He's not going to go all Glenn Hoddle on the world.
Tottenham Hotspur don't need a world class center forward, though I'm not going to argue with Daniel Levy if he wants to bring him in. They just need a guy like Diame (or, honestly, a guy not even quite as good as that) for the center forward position. A competent center forward who is a more composed and harder working player than Adebayor, but bigger, stronger and a better passer than Defoe will do the trick.
That's not a pipe dream. That's not hard to find at all. That describes Grant Holt, Danny Graham, Shane Long, Kenwyne Jones, and any number of players in the Championship. You know, the kinds of guys that a certain former manager would try to sign, something that lots of us (including me) bitched about incessantly.
I want "THE" striker too, but more than that, I just want "a" striker. Any good striker. Anyone who adds a body up top and fills our needs. He doesn't have to be a superstar. He just has to be better and more reliable than Louis Saha. That small, inexpensive, low-profile addition could be the difference between fourth and seventh place for Spurs, because that's how small the difference between the fourth-through-seventh-placed teams is.
Seriously, anyone. Just anyone. I'll take anyone.