What does Soldado offer?

Tottenham have been searching for a top quality striker at the right price, who was willing to come to Spurs with no Champions League football. That lack of top level European football is the real reason we have not seen the signings up front we have been hoping for rather than the fans simplistic "Levy won't spend" argument. For many a striker wages would also have been a problem but now that search has produced results and top class results at that.

Roberto Soldado has joined for a modest £10.40 million (€12m) initial outlay, which is 40% of the transfer fee and three further 20% yearly payments of £5.20 million (€6m). His salary of £3.46 million (€4m) a year £66,638 (€76,923) a week is modest by top striker salary standards today.

His early years were spent in the Real Madrid B team where he scored 64 goals in 120 games and latterly at Valencia which yielded 80 goals in 146 appearances. In his career to date he has 136 in 280 games, in the Champions League he has 16 goals in 23 games.

The career breakdown of how all he has scored his goals is 76 with his right foot, 8 with his left, 16 with his head, 3 tap-ins and 15 penalties. He has scored 44.85% of his goals in the first half, 55.15% in the second.

Roberto Soldado's game is quite simple, put the ball in the back of the net consistently. He is physically strong, technically very good and is an excellent player in holding on to the ball. He is a direct player who has pace and is always on the move to create openings for himself. He has intelligent movement constantly pulling defenders out of position to create potential opportunities for a pass into him to strike at goal.

The Spanish international (6 goals in 11 games) will have no problem adjusting to the systems Andre Villas-Boas employs, as he is a central penalty box lone striker. He can occupy that role in either 4-2-3-1, 4-4-1-1 or 4-3-3 formations, all of which AVB employed last season.

Spurs pre-season has been so disrupted with the Bale saga and injuries that it's unclear what system will be employed for the start of the season. He has the ability to counter attack quickly or dribble past opponents and uses instinctive finishing rather than the Defoe method of simply hitting powerful shots towards target. Of course like any striker he does have glaring misses from time to time but then the spectacular volley is also in his armoury.

Like Defoe he can have bursts of goals, for instance he scored 10 in Valencia's last 8 league games, but he has a high conversion rate, so create plenty of chances and he'll tuck them away. The competition may be great for Defoe and it will be interesting to see the pair together at some stage in games. He has not played in a 4-4-2 system so how he'd cope playing alongside Adebayor is an unknown.

Soldado was used as the focal point in a 4-3-3 system at Valencia, surrounded by Jonas and Sergio Canales. He interchanged positions with either of the wide players brilliantly, getting away from his marker and that made the system fluid and creating a space for a through ball. One area you won't see him much is on the left which will create space for the left sided attacker to use. When he moves wider and cuts in it tends to be to the right.

As an instinctive finisher, a one touch finisher, you won't see him over elaborate trying to score the perfect goal or set up the perfect chance. He'll shoot before the defender has had time to set himself. All his 24 league goals (right) came from inside the penalty box and mainly with his right foot so Lennon may be a good supply line for him, indeed having a finisher who will attack the 6 yard box may benefit Lennon also. A slight concern is that we tended to create opportunities outside the box rather than in it, perhaps intelligent movement will change that. Soldado is not a tall striker (5' 10", 1.79m) so we'll be crossing on the floor, although he did score 4 headers. He scored once with his left foot.

The table to the right shows an impressive conversion rate, third among the top European strikers which is the kind of finishing Spurs have been searching for for years. He favours either side of the keeper whereas Defoe often shoots centrally.

Soldado says he likes to "play on the limit of the opposition defensive line," and when he was quizzed about his favourite type of goal, he answered "the ones with the first touch,” he said. "That says a lot about my teammates." They shows he wants and appreciates accurate service to play his game.

So overall we have signed a right footed on the floor proven finisher who will stay central or cut in from the right channel to makes the keeper work to make a save.

Espanyol will be our initial chance to see him in a Spurs shirt and again it is on ITV4 on Saturday.

The first interview with Tottenham's new number 9 on the official website comprised 8 questions, if you have not seen it here it is.

1. Welcome to Spurs, Roberto. What are you thoughts on joining the club?
Roberto Soldado: "I’m absolutely honoured to be at this club, to wear the shirt that has so much history. I’m hoping that I can score lots of goals to repay the club’s kindness in signing me."

2. What have you made of our progress from Spain?
"Spurs is a great club and a club that deserves to be in the Champions League. I know it’s a hard league and we have to work and play to that level to get there and I will do my best for the team."

3. What do you think of the squad you are now part of at Spurs?
"I’ve joined a great club with a lot of great players. As a group, including the new players, we’re looking to improve and our objective is to get Spurs to where we belong."

4. You scored so many goals in La Liga, are you looking forward to the challenge of the Premier League?
"I’ve come here as a striker to score goals. I always try to achieve more goals in the next season, so that will be my aim, to score as many goals as I can for Spurs next season."

5. We play an attacking brand of football, how excited are you to join a club that plays in that way?
"I love playing in a team like that, a team that holds onto the ball and then attacks. It’s Andre’s style and it’s good for the fans to see that (style of) football and for the team as well."

6. You should make your debut this Saturday when we play Espanyol at White Hart Lane, a team you know well. How much are you looking forward to that and what can you tell us about Espanyol?
"I’m really looking forward to hopefully making my debut at White Hart Lane on Saturday. Espanyol is a team I know very well. It’s a team that ended the season very strongly in Spain, they have lots of good, young players and they are a dangerous team to play against."

7. It's likely to be a sell-out on Saturday, underlining our fantastic support. Are you looking forward to playing in front of those fans?
"I’m really looking forward to it. That’s one of the things at the heart of the Premier League, the fans of each team, that’s what keeps the team going. I can’t wait to experience that atmosphere."

8. And finally, what are your targets for the season ahead?
"My main aim is to get that number one striker shirt on the pitch and obviously, to score goals and try to get us into the Champions League, where we deserve to be."

This mornings round up article for those who missed it (opens in a new window): Vadillo, Coentrao, Bale, Bernard, Defoe, Huddlestone

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