What can we expect from Roberto Soldado at Tottenham Hotspur?


Earlier this morning Premier League side Tottenham announced that they’ve agreed to sign Valencia’s Roberto Soldado.

The Spanish international striker will finalize his $40 million move to White Hart Lane once completing a medical, and the Premier League will have a new predatory striker.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has spent a club record transfer fee to prize Soldado away from Southern Spain. But is he worth it?

Spurs fans will be wondering if Soldado is only arriving because a deal had been agreed with Real Madrid for Gareth Bale, but seeing as that has happened yet, Soldado’s arrival should be celebrated.

Talk of Bale to Madrid can wait. The chat in North London today should be all about Soldado.

Valencia’s fans will be devastated to see him leave. He’s been at the club since joining from Getafe in the 2010-11 season, after scoring 20 goals for the La Liga side. Soldado then excelled at the Mestalla, scoring 81 goals in 141 games and captained the side to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League for two of the past three seasons.

The 28-year-old is quick and strong, but his physical attributes don’t set him apart. His penchant for finding space in the penalty box is his biggest weapon, and Soldado is coolness personified when he gets a chance. The clinical strikers brooding figure can often be spotted hands on hips at the halfway line, as he eyes up his next move.

He has a grit and determination that Spurs fans should take to straight away.

Over the past three seasons he’s scored 30 in 46 games last season, then 27 in 51 before that and 25 in 44 during the 2010-11 campaign. He will score goals if you get him the service and Spurs are very good at doing that.

(MORE: Soldado on the brink of move as Valencia, Tottenham agree deal)

Too often last season Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe were either injured or out of form and Spurs would have surely finished in the top three of higher if they had a top goalscorer. Now Soldado is the main man at Spurs and the other strikers will look to compliment the clinical finisher from Valencia.

For some time the Spaniard has tried to become a regular for Spain, and despite six goals in 11 games for the national team, Soldado has struggled to impress Vicente del Bosque who prefers to implement a false number nine.

Well, Soldado is a true number nine. In every sense of the word. He can be the battering ram that holds up the ball and take pressure off the defense away from home. He is good in the air, good with his feet, can spot a pass. But despite all that, he does what all good strikers do. Score goals.

That’s why Tottenham splashed the cash to bring Soldado to Spurs.

MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 1-2 Real Salt Lake

SANDY UT - MARCH 14: Olmes Garcia #13 of Real Salt Lake celebrates his goal during their game against the Philadelphia Union at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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The game in 100 words (or less): Real Salt Lake stays alive in the hunt for a playoff berth in the Western Conference with a crucial 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. After falling behind early, RSL scored twice before halftime and held onto the lead for the rest of the match, moving within three points of the final playoff spot in the West. Real Salt Lake has three matches remaining, including a massive clash against the Portland Timbers, which will pretty much decide their season. For Colorado, it’s another year without playoff soccer.

[ MORE: FC Dallas clinches playoff berth ]

Three moments that mattered

16′ — Doyle heads Colorado into the lead — The former Premier League man gave the home side an early lead, thanks to a powerful header from quite a bit out. Sean St. Ledger played in a cross, where Doyle snapped a header into the top corner past Nick Rimando.

33′ — Joao Plata bends in the free kick — Trailing 1-0, Joao Plata drew RSL level with a brilliant free kick. Plata’s shot dipped over the wall and under the crossbar, as Clint Irwin stood helpless in goal for Colorado.

43′ — Mulholland fires home a volley to put RSL ahead — Luke Mulholland scored his first goal of the season, and it was a beauty. A corner kick popped out to the midfielder at the top of the box, as he rifled a shot off the bounce and into the side netting.

Man of the match: Luke Mulholland

Goalscorers: Doyle (16′), Plata (33′), Mulholland (43′)

Wenger lauds team spirit following Arsenal’s big win

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Arsenal put on a superb performance against Manchester United today, flying out to a three-goal lead in the opening 20 minutes of the match.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United ]

United was stunned by the fast-paced, free-flowing Arsenal attack, unable to recover from the Gunners’ early dominance.

All of this came on the heels of a disappointing loss to Olympiacos in the Champions League, after which many questioned manager Arsene Wenger and his side.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Arsenal’s win vs. Manchester United ]

Following the big 3-0 win at the Emirates, Wenger praised his team’s spirit, saying there were outstanding performances throughout the side.

You go from Petr Cech up to Theo Walcott, and we had only outstanding performances. Sometimes we have that magic side in our game.

[Against Olympiacos] maybe we lacked a little bit of urgency and discipline, and that’s why we lost the game. But let’s not forget, last Saturday we won 5-2 at Leicester. Today we beat Man United 3-0.

[The players] have shown that we have an outstanding spirit in the squad. To respond the way we did after what happened to us, you need to have an exceptional spirit.

The Gunners’ performance today immediately silenced all the critics, as Wenger’s side put out on a display that many have been waiting for all season. The combination play of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott was brilliant, as Santi Cazorla continued to impress in the center of the midfield.

Wenger’s teams have not always been known to show strong heart and resiliency, but that’s exactly what they showed today against a Manchester United side that was in great form. Now sitting second on the table, Arsenal continues to climb up the Premier League.