Soon-to-be Tottenham forward will be worth every penny of his 30m euros price tag.
With Tottenham Hotspur on the verge of sealing a club-record £26 million capture of Valencia front man Roberto Soldado, we at Caughtoffside are here to give all you Spurs fans the lowdown on the tall Spanish striker who has been banging the goals in left, right and centre in La Liga for the past eight years now.
Following Tottenham director of football Franco Baldini’s trip to Spain on Monday to meet with both Soldado’s agent and Valencia president Amadeo Salvo, it appears as though White Hart Lane will finally have a world-class centre forward to feast their eyes on next season, and beyond.
As let’s face it, finding a consistent and injury-free forward to put away the numerous chances that the north London club create on a regular basis has been the one major weakness at Tottenham ever since the break up of the prolific Dimitar Berbatov-Robbie Keane partnership five years ago.
However, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and head coach Andre Villas-Boas will end that profligacy in a second if they can manage to persuade the coveted Spain international and his club to agree a deal over the coming days.
For one thing, this is no young, inexperienced front man making his way in the game who has just emerged on to the scene following a breakthrough campaign in front of goal.
No, Spurs will be getting as close as one can get to a guarantee of goals for their £26m outlay, with the 28-year-old having been finding the back of the net with great regularity in Spain for the likes of Real Madrid, Osasuna, Getafe and Valencia since 2005.
In fact, Los Blancos have always regretted allowing the attacker to leave the Santiago Bernabeu for Getafe in July 2008, and what’s more, for a fee of just 4m euros.
However, after just 16 matches in total and only two goals to his name in his three years in the Spanish capital, the player himself knew that he had to make the move if he wished to further his career, and Soldado has not looked back ever since.
Thirty-three goals in 66 games for Madrid-based minnows Getafe resulted in a move to home-town club Valencia in June 2010 for 10m euros, with Soldado being handed the unenviable task of replacing Barcelona-bound striker, and Los Che favourite, David Villa.
It is a mark of just what an impact the player has had at Valencia in the intervening three years that Villa’s name has been quickly forgotten at the Mestalla, with the home fans now chanting the name of their new goalscoring hero instead.
And with good reason too, as in his first three campaigns at the club Soldado has managed to net 25, 27 and then 30 goals in total, while in La Liga the forward has also registered at least 17 strikes in each of those three seasons too, which demonstrates an impressive consistency in front of goal from the Spaniard.
Crucially Soldado will enjoy the fast-paced nature of the Premier League, being a striker that thrives playing on the counterattack, which should also suit the way in which Villas-Boas likes to set his teams up in 4-3-3 formation, while equally important as far as the Portuguese is concerned is that the player is more than comfortable operating as a lone front man and excels with his back to goal.
Strong as an ox, technically accomplished, equally adept both outside and inside the box and good in the air, the striker with six goals in 11 appearances for the Spanish national team since making his La Roja debut six years ago is sure to make a huge impression next season on both Tottenham’s fans in particular, but also Premier League watchers in general.