This Season's Stats
||Premier League: 4th
Europa League: Round of 16
FA Cup: Fourth-Round (eliminated)
Capital One Cup: Fifth-Round (eliminated)
Win %: 48.57%
GF ratio: 1.65
GA ratio: 1.05
What They Needed
The arrival of Andre Villas-Boas has seen Jermaine Defoe turn into a completely different player. The former West Ham man has had his goalscoring boots on after scoring 14 goals in 29 appearances for the North London side this season. With Emmanuel Adebayor joining the striking ranks, Spurs looked a formidable side that carried the hallmark of a side AVB would have liked at Chelsea. The team had pace, power, guile and industry.
The midfield and defence were shored up with arrivals of Jan Vertonghen, Moussa Dembele, Gylfi Siggurdson and Clint Dempsey over the summer with the former Chelsea manager having more or less decided which players would make up his first team.
|Vertonghen and Dembele were signed over the summer for Spurs|
However the Portuguese knew at the back of his mind that he needed another frontman even though they had Clint Dempsey who played as a striker during his Fulham days. With Defoe sustaining an injury and Adebayor on duty with Togo at the African Cup of Nations, Spurs required a striker who could provide some much needed cover for the absent duo and ensure that their campaign does not derail.
Who they were linked with
|Damiao has been on AVB's radar|
The Internacional striker is a little different from the world's impression of a player from Brazil. People expect players coming through the different youth systems at Brazilian clubs to be in possession of bags of flair and samba magic. Damiao is someone who is a traditional 'Number 9' capable of holding up play and bringing his teammates into the game. But what has probably attracted so many suitors to this 23-year old is the fact that he is a one-chance-one-finish striker, something not many clubs have these days.
Andre Villas-Boas has made no secret of the fact that he wants to bring the Brazilian to White Hart Lane. With Defoe and Adebayor unavailable, Damiao would have been a perfect addition to Spurs who would also be eligible to play in the Europa League. It was only after AVB's men drew with Norwich in the Premier League that chairman Daniel Levy went all out to bring the Brazilian to London.
The striker had an official release clause of £42 million. Spurs tabled a bid around £16 million which was promptly rejected by Internacional. However the club hierarchy admitted that their striker could leave Brazil for a lower price in the summer of 2013. Even though the North Londoners were denied their target this time, it would be a safe bet to say that this move might just happen after the season concludes.
|Negredo has been in good form for Sevilla|
The 27-year old Spaniard was a surprise selection in the Spanish squad for Euro 2012 where he only started once which was in the quarter-final against Portugal. The Sevilla striker failed to disturb the scoreline on that occasion. However he has been in his element for the Andalusian club by scoring 15 goals in 24 appearances. With Sevilla looking to offload players to ease some of the financial burden the club has been under, Spurs sensed an opportunity to be able to wrap up a deal at a bargain price for the striker.
Spurs bid £14 million for the Spaniard but their bid was rejected by the Spanish club. The negotiations were protracted with the North Londoners finally giving up. This was followed by Everton emerging as a late bidder after their attempts to sign FC Twente striker Leroy Fer hit a dead end.
What they got
The 22-year old German gave a good account of himself during the group stages of the Champions League as Schalke came out as winners in a group that had Arsenal, Olympiakos and Montpellier. The midfielder whose father is an Everton fan, was linked with a move to Anfield, White Hart Lane or the Emirates after it was revealed that Holtby would not sign an extension to his current contract that runs out at the end of the season. Spurs showed the most desire to bring the Schalke man to London and their efforts were rewarded when it was announced that he would join the North Londoners in July 2013.
|Holtby has already made his debut for Spurs|
However, AVB felt that Holtby's services could prove to be invaluable during the current campaign and Spurs paid a fee around the range of €1.75 million to Schalke. Holtby made his debut in a 1-1 draw against Norwich City and seemed to be right at home in his new surroundings.
What this means for the season
The failure to land a striker and the addition of a midfielder could see Spurs having to resort to their midfield for goals. Spurs have fought their way to 4th after a tentative start under their new manager. They are just a point behind Chelsea who seem to have not come out of their traditional November slump in form. The signing of a top-quality striker would have been a signal of intent that the club meant serious business.
Jermaine Defoe still is on the road to recovery and despite being prolific this season, he hasn't scored a goal in over 12 hours of Premier League football. However it could be argued that Emmanuel Adebayor's imminent return could help the situation. But an injury, suspension or a loss of form for the former Arsenal man could hamper Spurs' campaign which has gone well so far.
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