With the Spanish striker rumoured to have sealed a move back to his native homeland, with Villarreal looking the likely destination, it leaves Spurs fans wondering, was he our worst ever signing?
He certainly comes close, with only seven Premier League goals in two seasons and a transfer fee of £26m he is definitely up there, but surely we’ve had worse?
Sergei Rebrov springs to mind. The Ukrainian formed a deadly strike partnership with Andriy Shevchenko when they both played for Dynamo Kiev, but when he made the move to North London, he struggled to settle in and only managed one season. He wasn’t built for the English game and the same can be said for another striker flop – Helder Postiga. Prolific at international level, the Portuguese again struggled to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League, and both he and Rebrov were sold after one year.
But both were signed for a fraction of the price of Soldado, so the damage doesn’t seem as bad. Then there’s David Bentley. We really thought we were onto something with him, but he also failed to justify his £15m price tag, and despite one or two good performances, was ultimately a spectacular waste of money. However, he did score from the halfway line against Arsenal, so he’ll never go down as the worst signing ever in my book.
Paulinho was again poor and, at £16m, many fans were left scratching their heads as to how on Earth he could justify that price tag, consistently going missing in games with some fans even dubbing him the “Brazilian Jermaine Jenas”, when, in actual fact, he was supposed to be the “Brazilian Frank Lampard”. An awful World Cup campaign followed his first season with Spurs, and he managed a second season before being sold earlier this summer. We managed to recoup £10m of the £16m we paid for him though, so at least we haven’t lost out too much on him!
Then there’s Erik Lamela. The Argentinian was sold to us under so much hype and promise, but so far he has failed to deliver. He came off the bench in our season opener at Old Trafford so appears to still be in the manager’s plans. At £30m and as Spurs’ record signing, I’m hoping he can still come good. You can see he has bags of natural ability, but so far has only been able to produce that kind of form in fits and bursts. I’m hoping this will be his year, but I’m also very sceptical.
We’ve had plenty of other shocking players in the Premier League era; Andy Reid, Ramon Vega, Paolo Tramezzani, Ben Thatcher, Milenko Acimovic, Hossam Ghaly, Grzegorz Rasiak, Gilberto and many, many more, but I think Soldado could be the very worst. His extortionate price tag and the promise and hype of a consistent 20-goal-a-season striker, make his failure to convert chance, after chance, after chance and his, quite frankly, pathetic goal return considering most of them were penalties, a spectacular flop and consequently, the ultimate Spurs failure. With this conclusion being reached, I can only say good riddance.