Berbatov, Holtby set to trade places in loan swap between Spurs and Fulham, according to report

Paul Gilham

The Times is today talking up a deal that almost makes too much sense to actually be true.

With the impending departure of Jermain Defoe to Toronto FC, Tottenham Hotspur will soon be left with only two senior strikers to deploy in their manager's preferred 4-4-2 system. Fulham have a wantaway striker who they're about to replace at great cost; they retain a serious shortage of creativity in midfield that needs to be addressed too. Tottenham have a great prospect of a creative midfielder that they can't find any playing time for currently. Fulham's wantaway striker is 32 and thus not a long-term solution for Tottenham, while Tottenham may want that great prospect of a midfielder back if he demonstrates that he can make an impact whilst in Premier League action.

The blindingly obvious solution? A loan swap, with Dimitar Berbatov coming back to Spurs for the rest of the season and Lewis Holtby going the other way in return. It's a deal that almost makes too much sense, and it's  one that The Times is touting today as likely to be completed in the near future (standard Times paywall warning applies).

As should be obvious from the angle I've taken on this story so far, I'd absolutely love it if Franco Baldini and Alan Curbishley could hash out this short-term player exchange. As down as I was on Berbatov when we were linked with him last summer, it seems pretty clear to me that even with Ade starting to fire again, Tottenham's attacking options need all the fluffing up Baldini can provide. It also seems fairly evident that Berbatov is not the spent force I suspected he was when I wrote about his hypothetical return to the Lane post-United, and that in actual fact he appears to be hankering for one last big move to a club chasing European football, and the chance to live out those glory glory moments one last time.

One the other hand, Holtby is far too good to be rotting on the bench for Spurs- yet with the chemistry that Nabil Bentaleb, Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen and Paulinho have shown in their starts together thusfar, and with Sandro soon to return to first team action, I just can't see how a player who's never really impressed in more than short spurts can realistically crack the first team over the critical run of games we have coming up. At Craven Cottage, however, he could potentially be a key figure in the Fulham's desperate attempts to battle away from the relegation zone, and could prove to his current employers that he can demonstrate responsibility and leadership as well as energy and mettle.

The planets seem to align on this particular rumour. Here's hoping it becomes more than that in the very near future.

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