By Floris Koekenbier | Goal Netherlands
When news reached Tottenham fans that the club had completed the signing of a Belgium international, there would have been hope that their elusive search for a striker was over.
Although with Christian Benteke having penned a new contract at Aston Villa, it's winger Nacer Chadli, and not the powerful former Genk attacker, that joins the ever-growing list of Belgians at White Hart Lane.
Chadli arrives in north London for a bargain price of €7 million, a modest sum given Spurs signed him from FC Twente after refusing to pay the €24m asking price for Atletico Mineiro star Bernard.
Bernard is now being strongly linked with a move to Tottenham's great rivals Arsenal, while Chadli will link up with his new team-mates for the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong after Spurs quickly tied up the deal over the weekend.
So should the fact that Chadli appears a 'back-up' option cue disappointment for Spurs fans? Absolutely not. Just ask former manager Co Adriaanse who believes the 23-year-old has got everything in his locker.
"I have rarely seen such a complete player like Nacer," he commented. "I really do not know what he cannot do. Nacer is creative, strong, fast, has a great free kick and he turns excellently. Everything is beautiful in him, even his face."
A glowing endorsement, indeed.
While he's unlikely to hit Gareth Bale's devastatingly impressive figures from last term, Chadli is very much a goalscoring threat, as his 12 goals in 26 Eredivisie appearances during the 2012-13 campaign testifies.
He first arrived in Holland back in in 2005, joining MVV Maastricht as a youth player before moving on to another Dutch first division side AGOVV Apeldoorn two years later where, alongside Dries Mertens, who joined Napoli this summer, he was one of the key players in the squad.
It was in the summer of 2010 that Chadli made the move to the Eredivisie, an absolute steal for Twente who paid just under €400,000 to take him to the Enschede where he would quickly hit the heights and emerge as the revelation of the 2010-11 campaign.
It was in that season that he first caught Tottenham's attention, scoring twice against his future employers in the Champions League group stages, with the London club closely monitoring his progress ever since.
He also received his first call up for the Belgium national team, but with the likes of Eden Hazard, now club team-mate Mousa Dembele and the aforementioned Mertens, he is yet to really assert himself on the international scene having made just 14 appearances and scoring two goals.
Other than possessing a goalscoring touch, Chadli is equally adept at laying on chances for his team-mates and, if he reaches full speed, there are not many defenders that are capable of keeping pace with him.
A right-footed winger that prefers operating on the left but can also play in the No.10 role, Chadli will provide versatility and options for manager Andre Villas-Boas and will be comfortable adapting to different roles in varying formations.
Aaron Lennon's injury-hit season struck Spurs particularly hard in 2012-13, with Bale's brilliance being stretched to the limit and no obvious replacement for the England winger, the likes of Clint Dempsey and Gylfi Sigurdsson were often forced to play out of position which resulted in a slowing of the tempo and narrow wide play.
While Chadli will be desperate to be more than just Lennon's back-up, his addition certainly strengthens that area of the squad and will give Villas-Boas the freedom to deploy Bale in a more advanced, central role.
The winger, though, went vocal with his displeasure at being played out of position while at Twente, insisting he was only keen to play on the left-hand side or in the No.10 role.
However, if he can overcome the injury problems that blighted his last campaign with Twente, Spurs certainly look to have signed a player that is ready to be the Premier League's latest Belgian success story.
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