With the likes of Emanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe already in their ranks, a lack of quality isn’t their problem. It’s the shocking lack of depth that will keep Andre Villas-Boas awake at night. Adebayor and Defoe are quality strikers, but only when the notion takes them.
They both have a tendency to blow hot and cold in rather different ways. For Defoe, that usually means a flurry of goals at the start of the season followed by an inevitable lull. Whereas Adebayor is the type of striker that managers love and hate in equal measure.
His goal tally is impressive, but it’s the manner in which he scores the goals, in clusters rather than consistently over a prolonged period of games, that can and has infuriated his managers. And in the event that neither of these two strikers are available, Spurs only have the inexperienced Harry Kane, previously on loan at Championship Millwall (8 goals in 23 matches) and currently on loan at Norwich City (0 goals in 5 matches), not the sort of player who’ll have Nemanja Vidic and Vincent Kompany shaking in their size 11s. The American Clint Dempsey can play up front but he’s more comfortable and effective playing behind the striker.
With Adebayor now away at the African Cup of Nations and Jermain Defoe injured, Spurs faced Leeds at the weekend in the FA Cup, their only realistic hope of a trophy this season. AVB can’t be blamed for a lack of ambition, as the team he turned out was a relatively strong one with Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, Scott Parker and Jan Vertonghen all starting.
While the difference in quality of the teams usually would be vast, it was Leeds incisiveness and attacking strength that really highlighted Spurs’ need for attacking reinforcements. Without a real focal point up front (Dempsey was the stand-in striker) Spurs lacked impetus and eventually lost the match 2-1. AVB has stated in recent months that he’s willing to go the rest of the season with just his two men up front, but this sounds like classic manager talk, not wanting to dispirit his current players by stating outright that the squad needs improving. It’s admirable, but deep down he’ll know how desperately the club need another striker.
The main target for Spurs is the Internacional and Brazil frontman Leandro Damiao (Source: The Independent). He is a striker of immense power, and at 6+ft he’d have little problem dealing with the physicality of the Premier League. Being a Brazilian, you’d expect a little skill too. Which he has; for a big man he’s got a deft touch, a neat turn of pace and is comfortable coming off either foot. He’s not the most prolific scorer (his best season was 2011 with 14 goals in 28 matches) but he’s only 23 and will improve.