Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Should Spurs sign a striker in January?

Looking back 3 years or so, Spurs' were tipped to spend big on a striker in almost every transfer window, but Daniel Levy remains patient, though this time it looks as though the team is rather short on their frontmen, with Adebayor absent on International duty and Defoe battling with an apparent injury, which saw him miss FA clash against Leeds United, which Spurs lost 2:1 with Dempsey playing as a lone forward.

Dempsey is quite versatile, being able to play on the left wing, behind the strikers and as one, but it's hardly a solution.

Spurs have been monitoring several targets, some of them go back a few seasons, particularly Leandro Damiao, whose move to White Hart Lane appears to be dead yet again, with the striker unwilling to move aboard and Internacionals reluctance to sell.

Tottenham have been monitoring Loic Remy for quite some time now, but have dropped interest since the summer, due to players poor form and problems with injury.

Most recent name to be linked with them is Celtic's Gary Hooper, 25 year old English striker who bagged 57 goals in 82 appearances for Celtic during his 2 and a half year spell with the Scottish champions and has caught the attention of many Premier League clubs. Hooper made his first footballing steps at Tottenham, but left the academy at the age of 14. Celtic demands at least £7M for the striker, after rejecting a £5M bid from Norwich.

Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo has been a constant presence on La Liga top score sheets, with the player scoring 54 goals in 122 appearances. Sevilla has been in a tough financial situation for some time now and could be looking to raise funds by selling their star player and Tottenham have been keen for quite some time now, timing could not be better for the Spanish striker to move on.

Spurs' boss, Andre Villas-Boas claims that he's quite happy with the current squad, though with Levy, it is rather hard to predict the future. Will Spurs sign another striker? I guess we'll wait till the very end to find out.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Is Arsenal doing the right thing keeping Walcott?

Despite being just 23 years old, name Theo Walcott goes back a long time, considering how long the talented ex-Southampton player has been under the spotlight. Walcott is Southamptons youngest first team player, making his debut as a 16 year old. He is also the record holder for the youngest player to play a competitive match for a senior England national team, being just 17 years and 75 days old.

It was becoming quickly obvious that pacey striker was not going to stay with the Saints for a prolonged period and in winter of 2006, Arsenal lured him with a £5M bid, potentially rising to £12M.

Comparisons with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry were inevitable, but Walcott's progress at Arsenal has stalled to say the least, but he featured for Arsenal on regular basis, making over 20 league appearances every season since his arrival.

Due to his quick feet and ability on the ball, Walcott was often deployed as a winger on the right side of the pitch, which he disliked, but it made more sense for a player of his physicality to be operating on the wings, rather than the middle of attack.

Walcott saga is one of the many in Arsenal's recent times, but it looks as though this one is here to stay, with him finally agreeing on a 5-year deal which will make him one of Arsenal's top earners, making £100,000 per week, after rejecting a £75,000 per week deal in summer.

But the question is, does a player of his (in)consistency really deserve £5M annually, same sum his former teammate, Gareth Bale, is making with Arsenal's arch-rivals, Tottenham.

Walcott tends to be overshadowed far too often and his scoring record is rather poor for a striker, scoring just 34 league goals in 166 league appearances for the Gunners, though it is fair to point out that Walcott has spent a good deal on the wing, and even more on the bench.

Could have Arsenal spent their money wiser? It remains to be seen by Walcott's performances.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Is Daniel Sturridge the solution to Liverpool's woes?

It has been officially confirmed, so far the biggest transfer of the January window (exception to the previous arranged transfer of Lucas Moura to PSG) is newly-announced Liverpool signing, 23 year old Daniel Sturridge.

Sturridge has started his professional career with Manchester City, where he made his debut almost 6 years ago as a 17 year old, coming on from the bench against Reading. Sturridge wasn't a preferred choice and was regarded as a backup at City and one for the future. Unhappy with his status, Sturridge ran down his contract and moved to Chelsea upon expiring, though Chelsea was due compensation to City, which they paid in various installments.

He wasn't given many opportunities at Chelsea, either, and was loaned to Bolton, where he caught the eye of the media, scoring 8 times in 12 appearances and upon his arrival back to Chelsea, Daniel saw his playing time dramatically increased. His natural position is a striker, though Andre Villas-Boas preferred to play him on the wing in favor of Torres and Drogba, who occupied the central roles. He ended up playing 30 games in the season 2011/12, but has made just 7 league appearances in the 2012/13 and, frustrated with the lack of game time yet again, made a switch to Liverpool for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £12M (€15M).

Liverpool have been abysmal this season and are more and more in decline, with their expensive Englishmen signings not producing what was expected of them. Currently laying on the 10th place of the EPL, with 28 points from 20 games, it is evident that a change is needed within the squad and purchase of Sturridge could be just what they're were looking for.

Sturridge main qualities are speed and trickery, along with decent finishing ability and versatility, he'll be able to provide cover on the wings, if needed, but he was often accused of being a rather selfish player. His goalscoring record at Chelsea, where he netted 13 times in 61 appearances suggest Sturridge operated on the wings more frequently, though it is fair to point out that most of his appearances came from the bench. Liverpool are looking for a partner for Luis Suarez, after Andy Carroll failed to fill that role, it is up to a Sturridge to try his luck with Merseyside and watching him playing beside Luis Suarez will be entertaining to say the least.