Well, Tottenham Hotspur have signed a striker. Sure, he may not help the club this season, but at this point I won't be looking a gift horse in the mouth. We still need someone to score goals this season, so I thought I'd finally get around to writing up something that I've been kicking around for a few weeks now. Every single Spurs fan, and hopefully the Club itself, realize that to succeed the club needs a new striker. There have been a lot of links, but analysis of the players themselves has been sparing at best.
Personally, I'm often rather dismissive of most of the strikers we're linked with, with the exception of Fernando Llorente who might be our writers' favorite player that doesn't play for Spurs. Mostly my dismissals are somewhere along the lines of "He'll never come to Spurs", but for the purposes of this article I'm going to put aside transfer fees, wage demands, and desire to win trophies, and simply focus on the players themselves.
Fernando Llorente: As I said, the Spaniard is beloved around these parts simply because he's exactly the player that Spurs need. At 6'5" he is big and strong enough to lead the line against the best teams in the Premier League. In the last 3 seasons he has scored 60 goals in all competitions for Athletic Bilbao. The 26 year-old would be an ideal fit in a 4-2-3-1 system, though he would also be effective as the target striker in a pairing with a more advanced forward, like Jermain Defoe or Roman Pavlyuchenko. Buying Llorente would almost certainly make Peter Crouch surplus to requirements.
Giuseppe Rossi: I hope Tottenham don't buy this guy, if for no other reason than because I hate having to try to spell Giuseppe. I never get it right on the first try. The Italian (or American depending on how bitter you are) enjoyed his best season of football in 2010-11 scoring 32 times in 56 games. He operates more as a deep-lying forward or perhaps even as a trequarista forward (think a more advanced Rafael Van der Vaart). That, of course is the most obvious problem with bring in Rossi. We're Rossi more of a speedy poacher, like Defoe he would be a good addition, but he's more of a creator who needs the ball at his feet and that is the role that Van der Vaart, and to a lesser extent Niko Kranjcar and Luka Modric fill. He could work well in a partnership with a player Pavlyuchenko or Defoe, but playing him with Crouch would not make sense.Mirko Vucinic: I'll admit that of all the strikers we've been linked with, this is the one that I'm most excited about. The Montenegrin striker doesn't quite have the goal scoring output of the previous two players, but his skill more than makes up for it. Vucinic is often deployed on the left wing for Roma, a role he almost certainly not be asked to fill at Spurs, which has reduced his goals. Vucinic also had to deal with Francesco Totti dominating time on the ball for his Roma sides. Vucinic's pace and dribbling ability make him an excellent advanced striker or even a poacher. His addition would render Defoe superfluous. At 6'1" it's possible Vucinic could lead the line in a fashion similar to Robin Van Persie for Arsenal, but that's probably not going to be his best role.
Pablo Osvaldo: This is the player I know the least about. In the last two seasons he has scored 20 total goals for Espanyol in La Liga. People in the press seem to most often describe him as a target man. He's short for a target striker, so I assume he is fairly strong. He would have to be in order to succeed at holding up play in the Premier League. I'm not really sure how Osvaldo would fit into this Spurs side, but he doesn't seem to be much of an improvement over Roman Pavlyuchenko.
Didier Drogba: Drogba is very much a known quantity. He plays in the Premiership and we know what he is capable of. Has had two 30 goal seasons, most recently in 2009-10, when he scored 37 in all competitions (29 in the league). He could certainly lead the line for the Club and would form an excellent partnership with Van der Vaart. The obvious drawback is that Drogba is 33 years-old and will turn 34 during the upcoming season. Plus who better to tutor the Club's latest addition "Mini-Drogba" than life-sized-Drogba. Having anyone else do it would be a fucking disgrace.
Dimitar Berbatov: Like Drogba, fans should know what to expect from Berbatov. Lots and lots of laconic minutes on the pitch followed by a few seconds of pure inspiration. The Bulgarian is very much a true number nine, but I doubt his ability to play as the lone striker. You need to work a little hard than Berbatov does to play alone up top. He could partner with either Defoe or Pavlyuchenko and be effective. His addition also wouldn't force Crouch out.
Emmanuel Adebayor: Again, we know what Adebayor is capable of. The former Arsenal striker is a big powerful player who could undoubtedly play as the lone striker. Tactically speaking, he, like Drogba, would fit in well with the squad and at only 27 would be a better investment in the long run for the Club.
Diego Forlan: Forlan suffered through a down year in 2010-11. His stock had never been higher, coming of a remarkable performance at the FIFA World Cup, but the Uruguayan failed to translate his form for his country onto the pitch for his club. Forlan is 32 and in his previous stint in the Premier League, with Manchester United, he performed poorly, scoring only 17 goals in 98 games. In terms of style of play Forlan and Rossi are fairly similar and as a result their deployment in Harry Redknapp's tactics would be difficult.
What are your thoughts? How would these players fit in? Who are some players who would fit in better than those we've been linked with?