Earlier, we had a debate about the three potential box-to-box midfield starters. We're doing the same exercise at striker, with three of our writers making the case for a different center forward. Who would you start -- Roberto Soldado, Emmanuel Adebayor or Harry Kane?
The case for Roberto Soldado, by Uncle Menno
There's no question that Roberto Soldado did not have the season that was expected of him last year for Tottenham Hotspur, but you could say that about many of the players Spurs bought with the Gareth Bale money. Soldado was a revelation during his time at Valencia, scoring 59 goals in 101 appearances. That's really, really good, and I refuse to believe that he suddenly and instantaneously became crap upon moving to North London. Roberto certainly lost his confidence, but he was also woefully misused as a poacher in Andre Villas-Boas' rigid system and ignored under Tim Sherwood. It's too soon to give up on him.
In Spurs' preseason matches, Soldado has started to regain a bit of his old form in Pochettino's fluid front line. Most notably, he's shown a willingness to drop deep and make the key pass that sets up his teammates, as illustrated by his assists that led to both Erik Lamela goals in Toronto. He's scored a few in preseason, and has gotten into positions where he can make an impact.
At Spurs, he may not be the 25-goal gunslinger that he was at Valencia, but he doesn't need to be. If he can get himself into dangerous positions, bring the likes of Lamela, Eriksen, and Lennon into play, and occasionally poach a few goals, in my book that makes him worthy of being our starting striker.
The case for Emmanuel Adebayor, by Edward F.
My argument in favour of Emmanuel Adebayor is very simple, and that is that he is better at being a striker than any of our current options. Soldado is capable of sublime things with the ball at his feet, and Kane is a hugely promising prospect who is likely to have a true breakthrough season next term- but should we choose to make him our starting forward, Ade is an individual who we can fully trust to provide something in the region of 15 goals next season. Provided, of course, he knows that the management has that trust in him.
You see, the thing about Ade is that his career history evidences that he saves his best game for the managers who truly treat him with the respect his abilities deserve. In his early days at Arsenal he managed nearly a goal every other game; then for City he netted 14 goals in the 26 games that comprised his first season before Roberto Mancini decided to sign a glut of new strikers to force him down the pecking order. He broke our hearts at Madrid with his important Champions League goals and then repaired them with an amazing 17-goal season under Harry Redknapp, who made him a de facto starter and focal point of our attack. Under Andre Villas-Boas, with whom he personally clashed, his production again dipped before being restored in another strong half-season under Tim Sherwood, who again began to run the side's attack through him.
Some will call Ade prissy for only showing his best when he's the clear focal point of the attack. I call him a man who knows his own abilities- and these extend to strength, hold-up skill and the capacity to pull out truly astonishing finishers. Feed the Power Horse and he will score.
The case for Harry Kane, by Lennon's Eyebrow
Harry Kane is the future of
English football. He possesses a dizzying array of skills that make him the most complete forward on the squad. Equally comfortable as a lone striker or in a front two, dropping deep or lurking in the box, Harry Kane can do it all. He's a giant of a man with exceptional hold-up play, and has the first touch and passing ability to play his teammates in behind defense, unlike a certain Togolese.
In front of goal, his finishing is sublime. While Soldado may outstrip Kane's hold up and passing abililty (for now), he appears to have a permanent case of the yips in front of goal. But while the man brought in to be our deadly finisher can barely get started, Harry Kane came into the team and started banging them in for fun. Michael Caley's statistics say he's got the potential to be one of the best young strikers in the Premier League in the past five years. While Adebayor perhaps matched his goalscoring exploits, the team can't afford to mollycoddle him all season. Harry Kane's stiff upper lip needs no babysitting.
Harry Kane is the total package. It's hurricane season y'all.