What can we expect from Roberto Soldado at Tottenham Hotspur?

8 Comments

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.

Iniesta joins Japanese club Vissel Kobe

Getty Images
Leave a comment

TOKYO (AP) Former Barcelona playmaker Andres Iniesta was introduced as the newest member of Japanese club Vissel Kobe on Thursday, a poorly kept secret that’s been rumored for weeks.

Iniesta appeared before a packed news conference at a central Tokyo hotel on Thursday along with Kobe’s billionaire owner, Hiroshi Mikitani.

[READ: Earnie Stewart being considered for U.S. Soccer post]

“I’m pleased to announce,” Mikitani said, “that Andres Iniesta will be signing up play with Vissel Kobe after his historic career at Barcelona.”

Iniesta signed his contract as Mikitani watched, and then spoke through an interpreter.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but Japanese media are reporting he will earn $30 million annually on a three-year deal.

“For me this is a very special day,” the Spaniard said. “This is an important challenge for me. My family is excited to come to Japan and we are very pleased. There were many offers. Other clubs showed interest. But I decided to sign with Vissel Kobe because the project presented to me was impressive.”

Mikitani is also the CEO of Barcelona sponsor Rakuten, a Japanese online retailer.

Iniesta held up the team’s red shirt with his famous No. 8 on the back, and his name written across the bottom.

Iniesta previously had said he would probably retire from international soccer after Spain plays at this year’s World Cup in Russia.

The 34-year-old Iniesta scored the winning goal for Spain in the 2010 World Cup final. He also was a key part of Spain’s two European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

He announced last month he would leave Barcelona after 16 seasons. His last match for the Spanish club was on Sunday against Real Sociedad at Camp Nou.

Vissel Kobe is in sixth place after 15 games in the J-League. It signed Lukas Podolski last year, but the German striker is out until the end of June with an injured calf.

Yaya Toure talks future, wants to play with Paul Pogba

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Leave a comment

There is very little debate: Yaya Toure is his own special case.

The longtime Manchester City midfielder does what he wants, flies his own flag, has the worst agent in the game, and is pleased or dismayed in unusual ways.

[ UCL: What would Real 3-peat mean? ]

Toure, 35, has been linked with a move to NYCFC now that he’s leaving Man City, but the Ivorian still wants to play two more seasons for a Champions League or Europa League club.

And he wants to get together with Paul Pogba. You can see where this is going… (from The Manchester Evening News):

“Pogba is the same size, power – but different in the way he wants to go. Technically as well, the ability to score goals as well. It is a player I want to play with, to be honest, just to teach him some things.”

That must mean both are going to Paris Saint-Germain because… Yaya at Manchester United? No way, right? Right? Even with last year’s reports from his — again — terrible agent that it was an option, that still seems too villainous.

“I don’t rule big teams out. The big teams are very important for me. What they want to achieve, the way they want to go, for me is very important. … I want to go somewhere I can win and achieve. It’s going to be hard one day to play against City, but I have to do that. It is part of my job.”

Toure later said he was “no good in an office,” which had us thinking, well, what if they properly celebrated your birthday, Yaya?

WATCH: Miami United midfielder unleashes Open Cup laser

@USSoccer
Leave a comment

Tomas Granitto, have yourself an extra plate at the postgame buffet.

The Miami United midfielder scored a gorgeous goal in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over fellow NPSL side Jacksonville Armada in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s third round.

[ MORE: 3 Key Battles for UCL Final ]

Complete with aesthetically-pleasing post-ping, the former El Salvador U-20 player laid into a 25-yard shot to open the scoring in Florida.

Granitto, 24, has played for Timbers 2, Swope Park Rangers, FC Edmonton, since leaving NCAA side Florida Gulf Coast.

Rondon wanted by Atleti, Inter Milan, and West Ham

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
1 Comment

The big boys are looking to Salomon Rondon as a bargain striker.

Yes, $22 million is a bargain in the striker market these days.

[ MORE: Napoli hires Ancelotti ]

West Brom’s Venezuelan international, 28, stands 6’2″ and has a relegation release clause that is reportedly interesting Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, and West Ham United.

Atleti and Inter are in the Champions League next season, but Rondon played for new West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini at Malaga, posting 25 league goals in two seasons.

He’s scored 24 goals in three Premier League seasons at West Brom, almost a quarter of the 104 produced by the Baggies.

He also picked up three assists this season as the target man for Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew, and Darren Moore (and was fouled more often than any other Baggie (Baggy?)).

Rondon and Marko Arnautovic next to each other would be a real handful for PL defenses. Then again, maybe he’ll stay loyal to West Brom and set the Championship scoring record next season.