Over here at CFC and with Spurs fans everywhere, the answer at the striker position has been debated for...ever. But interesting new reports of Diego Forlan being on the outs with Atletico Madrid have brought hope that the answer to the Tottenham scoring problems might finally be on the way.
Forlan has been long coveted by Harry Redknapp, who seemed to try to acquire him and every other striker in La Liga in January. But just how good Forlan is is up in the air at the moment. After putting up 32 and 18 goals receptively with Atletico in 08-09 and 09-10 and then following it up with a Golden Ball winning performance in the 2010 World Cup, Forlan was valued at least £20 million entering the 2010-11 season. But this season was a bust for Forlan and Atletico Madrid as a whole, as Forlan limped to 8 goals all season as an Atleti side tipped for Champions League qualification finished 7th.
Forlan's drop in form combined with an apparent push from Los Colchoneros to offload Forlan quickly has dropped his price considerably, down to a modest £7 million in reports. At this price tag, it seems to absolutely make sense to acquire Forlan. Even though Forlan is 32 and will have put even more miles on his odometer after this summer's Copa America, he's a class striker with a proven scoring record in elite competition.
In terms of fit, it would be fascinating to see how he fits as the number 9 in the Tottenham 4-4-1-1. The system compares favorably to the 4-4-2 of Atletico, where Sergio Aguero would drop deeper in the hole while Forlan carried the high line. Combining with Rafa van der Vaart could help recapture some of Forlan's earlier glory with Atletico, as VdV should provide better distribution that Aguero.
A very interesting combination would come in putting Forlan with Peter Crouch. While the old fashioned big man/fast man striker combo of Crouch and Defoe saw its death knell this season, putting Crouch with Forlan may prove a different proposition. Everyone can attest to Crouch's fantastic distribution this season, but putting him with a player with the movement, positioning, and finishing of Forlan could prove a very potent duo.
In the end, I think Harry Redknapp and the Spurs supporters would love to go after a young class striker that can score goals for years to come. But finding a proving commodity that can score the goals that the Tottenham forwards missed is the most important goal. With five impressive teams arguably in front of Tottenham in the race for the top-4 next year, Spurs must make a push for now to avoid falling into the mediocrity of mid-table for years to come. Diego Forlan might just be the man to bring Champions League football back to White Hart Lane.