Roberto Soldado’s first season as a Tottenham player can be described in a number of ways, the majority of which are negative.
After seeing their club fork out £26m – what was briefly a record outlay – to prise the Spanish striker from Valencia, Spurs fans could have reasonably expected a better return than the six league goals they got from the 29-year-old.
His struggles to settle in England and adapt to the high-tempo of the Premier League have resulted in links to a motherland return, with Atletico Madrid rumoured to be interested in a loan deal.
But the Lilywhites should hang on to their misfiring frontman for at least another season and, better yet, should back him to bag over 12.5 top-tier goals next term at 17/20 to recoup some of the money they spent on him.
It’s a wager that, if successful, yields £25.50 profit for those who invest their £30 free bet bonus for opening a new account at bwin.com in it.
Here’s why it should be done:
Mauricio Pochettino’s formation will bring the best out of the much-maligned Valencian.
Southampton prospered from a system that requires plenty of vibrancy and zest from a trio of advanced midfielders and a striker with laser-eye accuracy.
When it comes to ruthless finishers, few are more adept than Soldado.
He operated in a similar position for his hometown club for whom his lowest goal haul was 17 in three seasons with the La Liga titans.
If he’s provided the service, he will get the goals and if Pochettino deploys a similar style at Spurs as he did at St Mary’s, service will be forthcoming.
Playing a 4-4-2 for large parts under Tim Sherwood, or as the spearhead of Andre Villas-Boas’ languid Lilywhites side, there was a lot of onus on Soldado having to make his own chances last term.
He doesn’t possess the physicality, nor the speed to prosper in this way.
This is reflected in the reduced average shots per game he had in 2013/14.
When playing for Los Che he took aim 2.4, 2.5 and 2.9 times per game across his three-season stint, scoring 18, 17 and 24 respectively.
During his maiden voyage through Premier League waters, Soldado got just 58 shots off in far fewer seasonal starts than his lowest number Valencia handed him; his average attempts per match fell to 2.1.
Playing as the main line-leader in Southampton’s side, Rickie Lambert typically took 2.8 shots per outing last time around – an improvement by 0.3 from his first top-tier average, which was recorded, in the main, before Pochettino arrived on the south coast.
This brought him 13 league goals and a move to Liverpool.
If Soldado is presented the ball in shooting range more frequently, enabling to increase the amount of efforts he’s having, it stands to reason he’ll score more goals and the Argentine’s tactical tweaking will be the catalyst that allows this to him, as it did with Lambert at Southampton.