On Friday, the London Evening Standard published an article in which Tottenham Hotspur attacking midfielder Nacer Chadli claimed that he could replace Harry Kane up front if anything should happen to the club’s only recognised frontman.
Less than 24 hours later, Chadli added weight to his argument by scoring his third goal in three matches to fire Spurs 1-0 up at Colchester United after less than 30 minutes of Saturday early’s FA Cup game.
Erik Lamela found Chaldi with the outside of his left boot, before the in-form 26-year-old marked his 100th Tottenham appearance by scoring his 22nd goal for the White Hart Lane outfit.
The Standard had quoted Chadli as saying: “I can play in all three positions up front and the manager [Mauricio Pochettino] knows that.
“It’s good that I can be versatile. I haven’t played in the position very often. Apart from in pre-season, the FA Cup game at Leicester last week was the first time I had done so.
“But I like it. I like to be close to the goal, to attack the goal, so for me it is fine.”
Kane is the only genuine senior striker Spurs have in their current squad.
Son Heung-min has briefly impersonated a striker during his debut season in England, but it is clear that – although he can provide a scoring threat from deep – he is not qualified to lead the attack.
Kane, who started against Colchester, was omitted from the first XI as Spurs beat Leicester City 2-0 in a third round replay earlier this month. Son and Chadli both scored in that game, with the Belgian playing furthest forward.
Chadli, whose other goal in his impressive recent run came in last weekend’s 3-1 win at Crystal Palace, can evidently finish, but is he good enough to be the main back-up striker for a club with Premier League title ambitions?
Tottenham’s lead at Colchester is still just 1-0 at half time, but they have been totally dominant against the Essex club, who sit bottom of League One.
Chadli’s goal came from the game’s 11th shot – all had been registered by Spurs players.