Drop Him: Why AVB Must Replace Soldado With Defoe

Jermain Defoe replacing Roberto Sodado

Tottenham have struggled to find the net this season under Andre Villas-Boas, with star striker Roberto Soldado scoring just once from open play so far in the campaign.

Penalties account for three of Soldado’s four strikes for Spurs since joining from Valencia in the summer, giving way to suggestions that the Spaniard should be dropped from the first-team.

Meanwhile, Jermain Defoe has spoken to newspapers to reveal his frustration at being sidelined for new recruits and reiterated his desire for regular first-team football.

With eight appearances this season, seven of those from the bench, Defoe has definitely played second fiddle to Soldado, but should that continue to be the case?

So far this season, Soldado has struggled for consistency in front of the net with a conversion rate of 18.2%. Without his three penalties, that rate drops drastically to just 5.2%.

This is compounded by the Spaniard’s poor shot accuracy of 55%, with nearly every other shot failing to find the target, so no wonder the striker has struggled to score goals.

Roberto Soldado Stats

Soldado’s shooting in 2013/14

Defoe in contrast, has a healthy shot accuracy of 80% from his short cameos, although he has yet to register a goal so far this campaign resulting in a 0% conversion rate – which would immediately rise to 16.6% if the striker converts his next shot.

But for a more reliable outlook on Defoe’s goalscoring prowess, a glance at his 2012/13 statistics shows that he recorded a 53% shot accuracy and a 13.9% conversion rate on his way to 11 goals.

Jermain Defoe Stats

Defoe’s chance conversion in the Premier League last season

Both strikers have similar statistics, with Soldado enjoying a 71% pass accuracy and 43% take on success to Defoe’s 74 and 25%, respectively.

However, Soldado has been excellent for creating chances for his team-mates with 14 key passes in 11 games, while Defoe has a mere three, although that can be put down to his limited time on the pitch.

As for Spurs’ woes in front of goal, perhaps it is time for Soldado to be dropped in favour of Defoe, given his record in the Premier League.

The former West Ham United player is one of the most reliable goalscorers there is, and with 152 goals in 423 appearance Villas-Boas has a player he can count on to solve their problems.

A rest would also benefit Soldado, given that the pressures of his price tag seems to be affecting his game and give the team time to adapt to his ways.

But for now, Villas-Boas would be better served by placing his faith in Defoe as the team’s first-choice striker.

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