The striker seems close to resolving his difference with Togo and heading off to the African Cup of Nations, leaving Tottenham Hotspur with only one senior striker on the books for the time he is away. How should Andre Villas-Boas look to ensure that the team is not left short in his absence?
Sign Leandro Damiao
They really should, this is the obvious option, but if the transfer turns out to be unfeasible then a few other routes will need to be explored. I’m going to explore them, but really they should sign Leandro Damiao…immediately.
Sign a different striker
Damiao isn’t the only striker Spurs are linked with, with the Premier League’s favourite transfer rumour Loic Remy also reportedly a target, while Fernando Llorente is still teasing everyone by refusing to finalise a move to Juventus. Even with Spurs likely to play a lone striker system in the long term under Villas-Boas, another centre forward would give more balance to the squad, and provide cover for Adebayor in the short term. Also given Adebayor’s somewhat lethargic performances of late, another striker could be needed to cover for him even when he does return from international duty.
Sign Joao Moutinho
Not a direct solution to the problem at hand, but wouldn’t it be great?
The American has roared into form after an inauspicious start at White Hart Lane, and is looking more of a threat every match. Dempsey is currently doing a fine job playing behind the striker, but in order to rotate Defoe out of the side Spurs could try the former Fulham ace up top, with Gyfli Sigurdsson playing behind him. This would give the Icelandic player a welcome opportunity to start some matches, as he has also come into some form in recent weeks. If Lewis Holtby’s transfer was moved forward to January then he could also be used in this position, and a certain Dutch player was arguably the best player in the world in 2010 playing behind the striker, though £200,000 a week might be little steep even for Wesley Sneijder.
The traditional option at White Hart Lane, Spurs could simply play Defoe throughout the period Adebayor is away, and hope for the best. This wasn’t a disaster during Adebayor’s extended absences in the first half of the season, and while Defoe has looked a little off in recent games, you’d still be happy enough to see him starting for the next month with an in-form Dempsey behind him.
We should still sign Leandro Damiao though.