Since the day Dimitar Berbatov left, filling the striking role at Tottenham Hotspur has often proven to be a problem for the club. Emmanuel Adebayor impressed during his loan spell last season, but has again underperformed under head coach Andre Villas-Boas having secured a permanent deal at White Hart Lane.
Jermain Defoe has led the line impressively for Spurs this season, netting 14 goals for the north London side, but many remain of the opinion that another striker needs to be secured sooner rather than later.
With Adebayor continuously flip-flopping on his international future ahead of the African Cup of Nations, there is the distinct possibility that the England striker could be the only front-man available to Villas-Boas until the end of the January, at the earliest.
Speculation has been rife as to who Spurs could bring in before the close of transfer window to counteract the loss of Adebayor. Leandro Damiao has again been mooted with a possible switch to north London for the fifth consecutive transfer window, while Klaas Jan Huntelaar was supposedly courted by the club prior to signing a new contract with FC Schalke 04.
Another who has again been linked with a move to Spurs is Sevilla hitman Alvaro Negredo. Los Nervionenses president Jose Maria del Nido recently insinuated that he had flown to London to agree the sale of the 27-year-old, with Chelsea and Arsenal also believed to have shown an interest in the Spaniard.
With a return of 11 goals in 18 appearances in all competitions for the Primera Division outfit, it comes as no shock to see Premier League teams taking a liking to Negredo. The striker has been one of La Liga’s more consistent performers in recent season, netting on average a goal every 2.4 games following his arrival at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan from Almeria in 2009.
However, while the front-man continues to excel for Sevilla, his teammates are yet to hit the heights of the player, with Michel Gonzalez’s side currently languishing in 12th, eight points off the Champions League places.
The club may’ve only won six of their 18 La Liga games, but of those six wins, Negredo has heavily influenced three of those in the victories over Getafe, Deportivo and Real Mallorca. Against Osasuna, Real Madrid and Real Betis, games he failed to hit the back of the net in, his Performances Score ranged from 16 to -18.
Yet, focusing on the three encounters in which he scored in, Negredo unsurprisingly showcased his often unrivalled capability to the watching world. Focusing on his worst of the three performances – the 2-1 win over Getafe – the striker netted the vital goal of the game in the 38th minute, one which proved to be the winner.
What saw his Performance Score fall to 26 was his poor pass completion, managing to find a teammate with 64% of his 11 attempted passes during the encounter with El Geta. Furthermore, Negredo conceded two fouls during his 67 minutes on the pitch, won just one of his three aerial duals and saw four of his attempts on goal miss the target.
His score marginally improved during the 2-0 win over Deportivo the next month, with the 27-year-old again on target, aiding in boosting his Performance Score to 34. His pass completion percentage may’ve dropped to 54%, but during the full 90 minutes on the pitch he attempted 17 more passes than in the win over Getafe.
Giving away two less fouls and winning five of his seven aerial duals meant his display was that bit better for a target man of his stature in comparison to the victory on the opening day of the Primera Division campaign, but his finest performance within a Sevilla win in which he’s scored came in the 3-2 win vs Mallorca.
Negredo was on fine form during the October victory over Los Bermellones, mustering a astonishing performance score of 117 as the front-man found the back of the net twice from his six of seven attempts that hit the target.
The significant improvements in consistency in front of goal would’ve aided in pushing his final score higher, not to mention winning four of his seven aerial duels and despite completing just a disappointing 61% of his attempted passes, it was an impressive day for the 27-year-old.
The Sevilla front-man is clearly capable of adjusting to the rigours of the Premiership, with his goalscoring record a testament to his abilities. His pass completion may leave a lot to be desired, with questions marks being raised over his potentiality at bringing others into play, but his consistency in winning aerial duels ensure Negredo could be an astute signing for any Premier League side before the transfer window closes.