Spurs boss targets striker signing before Premier League opener at Newcastle
Andre Villas-Boas is anxious to sign a forward before Tottenham’s Premier League kick-off at Newcastle next Saturday, but insists Spurs won’t be rushed into panic buying.
Jermain Defoe is currently the only first-team striker in the squad and, although 19-year-old Harry Kane has featured heavily throughout the pre-season campaign, he has never appeared in the top flight.
That leaves Villas-Boas short of options as he eyes his first competitive Spurs game at St James’ Park next weekend.
The new head coach has hinted that a move is imminent as talks with Emmanuel Adebayor continue - but he is adamant that Tottenham will focus on making the right signing rather than making hurrying into an expensive mistake.
“It’s nothing new. In this market it’s important to make good, sound bids, not just to do anything for the sake of it,” said Villas-Boas. “We are hopefully moving in the market in the next couple of days or weeks.
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“We are trying to deal with the market. Lots of teams are having difficulty, there’s not a lot of money around and teams try to hold onto their assets as best they can.
“We’re just trying to make the best decisions possible before the start of the league - hopefully trying to solve the issue with one more striker before the Newcastle game.
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“It’s funny because last January everybody was expecting one big move to trigger all of the others and it didn’t happen, so I think it’s just a sign of the difficult financial situation in all of Europe. It spreads out into football.
“The Premier League is obviously the richest league in the world and clubs are trying to be able to move the market. Some can and others are trying to trigger that move, but that doesn’t mean it will happen.”
Defoe hit the 55th-minute winner as Tottenham beat Watford 1-0 in their penultimate pre-season friendly at Vicarage Road yesterday.
A hugely uninspiring first-half performance was followed by an improved second-half display – and Villas-Boas was pleased with the response.
“The first 45 minutes were low in intensity for both teams, but both teams upped the tempo in the second half and there was an improvement,” he said.
“I’m happy and satisfied that there was a reaction to what we were doing in the first half – disappointment from everybody, and everybody wanting to react, and then a different story in the second half so that was a positive thing.
“Lots of players did well. It’s always good to bring the youngsters in and I make an individual reference to Tom Carroll - he played 65 minutes in two different positions and that shows the character of the player that he’s becoming.
“He’s a player that was used last year in the Europa League so he’s a player that we put a lot of trust in and I’m generally happy with everybody else.
“I was trying to get everybody involved. It’s the first game that we didn’t give everybody minutes so unfortunately for Dawson and Bassong, they weren’t involved. Gomes and Van der Vaart are still carrying niggles but they should be back soon.
“The last training Van der Vaart did was on Saturday so this week he can train with the team and hopefully we’ll get him involved in the last game [against Valencia on Thursday].
“Fitness-wise I’m extremely happy [with our pre-season] because, for the amount of time we had, being able to play players for 90 minutes is always a good sign – and our intensity has improved in the second halves.
“From a physical point of view I’m very happy, and obviously the results help on the emotional side with the confidence of the team.
“I think Thursday will be one more step in terms of the level of competition and hopefully we can continue our preparation for the game against Newcastle.”
From a tactical perspective, Villas-Boas added: “We have used the same system in all of the games so far, which is obviously the same system that the squad used last year.
“We played it again [against Watford] - 4-2-3-1 with one player behind the striker, and I think that’s the way we will face the beginning of the season.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs