With Tottenham Hotspur’s season now nothing but a Laurent Koscielny-shaped stain in the memory, musings across the blogosphere have now turned to transfer speculation to feed off our misery instead of simply results. And in wasting little time on getting into the act, we thought we’d do this same: let’s go, David Villa!
Yes, that’s the one, the record-breaking, World Cup winning, Champions League conquering, Spanish goal-machine. The thought of a player of his caliber coming to White Hart Lane would usually make you think, for want of a better word, that the rumour was nothing short of absolute bollocks.
Although given the sheer scale of publications that have run with the story that Daniel Levy is already cracking on with trying to negotiate with Barcelona over a mooted £12million deal. Utter garbage or something to think about it? To echo the thoughts of many over the last few days, there’s probably no smoke without fire.
Yet after a season in which our pathetically meager strike force played a starring role in our failure to finish in the top four, you would have thought supporters would be chomping on the bit to bag a man whose goalscoring pedigree leaves him few peers in the entirety of European football. Yep, you guessed it – some are already moaning about his potential arrival.
It seems almost staggering that a Spurs fan could possibly moan about signing a bloke whose goals have played a significant role in winning just about everything there is to win in both domestic and international football. There are, however, two sides to this one – and when it comes to weighing up a deal, the scales are a pretty delicately balanced thing.
On one hand, any deal to take Villa to N17 is an absolute risk – don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
Considering it’s hard to imagine he’d get out of bed for anything short of £100,000-a-week (his reported wage at the time of writing seems to balance out at around £110k) and taking into account Villa celebrates his 32nd birthday this December, this deal is no picnic for a club who generally tend to take a pretty dim view on signing anyone approaching 30 – let alone breaking the wage ceiling to sign one hitting 32.
Gareth Bale’s imminent new contract (let’s hope we haven’t put the kiss of death on that, apologies) might put paid to that ceiling, but should Villa cost around £10million, throw in, say, a three-year deal on £110k a week and that’s near on a £25million bit of business. Add in what you would imagine to be a sizeable signing on fee for both player and agent and it’s not hard to picture our mooted Villa acquisition costing us something approaching £30million. Big business indeed.
For all his outrageous pedigree, from Shevchenko to Crespo or Veron to Robinho, there can never be any guarantees that a player will make the transition from another European league and into the Premier League smoothly, regardless of how talented they are. Considering he’s just come off the back of a eight-moth lay off for a broken leg, you can see why not all are too comfortable with his purchase.
Yet since them, far from showing a series of ill effects, Villa went on to play a part in 39 games last season. Contrary to popular belief, this man isn’t going anywhere as damaged goods, in fact if anything, he’d be arriving in as good a goalscoring nick as ever.
Villa’s managed to bag a superb 17 goals in 27 starts for Barcelona during a season in which he’s perhaps unsurprisingly had to make do with a bit-part role.
For as much as nothing can be guaranteed, if any man is going to be able to score goals for fun in this league at the first time of trying, it’s David Villa. Far from an unproven talent or a European journeyman, we are talking about one of the finest and most prolific frontmen to have played the game during the past four or five years.
He’d arrive at Spurs ready-made to make an immediate impact and should he fire enough goals to get us into the Champions League, you can forget about any financial outlay, as the odds are he’d have paid for himself in a heartbeat
So what’s the verdict? Signing Villa is still a gamble and with the financial ship being run so tightly, such a short-term measure carries a real weight of risk for us. Yet it’s worth noting that another Spanish legend, a certain Raul, was linked with us this time three years ago. At 33, he was deemed too old and too expensive – two years later, he left Schalke, the club he eventually signed for, with 40 goals in 98 games.
If a deal can be done, do it Daniel.
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