Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Levy Must Play His Cards Right to Find a Striking Ace for Tottenham

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Levy Must Play His Cards Right to Find a Striking Ace for Tottenham

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Football Correspondent

LEEDS 2 tottenham 1 EVERYONE can see that Tottenham need a centre-forward. The head coach knows it, the supporters know it and -- most importantly -- rival clubs know it. With the transfer window closing on Thursday, how Tottenham's chairman chooses to tackle the problem might shape the rest of the season for his club. Over to you, Mr Levy.

Daniel Levy's transfer brinkmanship and penchant for doing deals as time ebbs away is all about securing the best price for Spurs. Levy does not act in this way simply because he enjoys it. It is because he believes it is a way to find competitive value in the market.

By negotiating late with a club who need to sell, the theory goes, you can bring down the price. Yet Jermain Defoe's absence through injury for yesterday's FA Cup defeat at Leeds has put Spurs in a vulnerable position.

Although Andre Villas-Boas insists Defoe should be fit for Wednesday's League match at Norwich, the knock he took in training was sufficient to prevent him travelling to Elland Road.

With Emmanuel Adebayor representing Togo at the Africa Cup of Nations, Spurs approached a difficult Cup tie without a proper striker. Indeed, at Elland Road they were forced to bring on Jonathan Obika, who has yet to make a League appearance for the club. The situation is far from ideal, especially if Togo qualify for the knock-out stages by beating Tunisia on Wednesday.

Such a result would keep Adebayor away for at least next Sunday's match at West Brom.

The problem with leaving it so late is that every club in Europe now realise where Spurs are weak. When Levy starts to enquire about forwards, he might discover the price is higher than when he explored the situation earlier in the month. Gary Hooper, Danny Graham, Kenwyne Jones and Alvaro Negredo are four forwards likely to change clubs this week. Negredo, the Sevilla player, would surely improve Tottenham and his club are thought to be keen to sell. …

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