Like most football fans, when I watch international football tournaments or Champions League games, I like looking at players from other countries or teams and ‘scouting’ them. I’ll watch them a few times and think “yeah, he could be the just the player we need—I think he’d fit in really well”. If only I was manager, rather than being an overweight couch potato.
Anyway, I’m a Spurs fan, and though over the last few years we’ve had a bunch of skillful and tricky attacking midfielders (Bale, Lennon, Van Der Vaart, Modric, Kranjcar), with the exception of Bale we don’t really have someone who can cut in off the wing and score some goals, play as a second striker—someone who can pass, dribble, and shoot. Spurs are short of goal scoring options at the moment, and most people think manager Andre Villas Boas will play with one centre-forward and two players coming in off the wing.
So, I have this guy in mind. I’ve heard of him as an up-and-coming player for a few years now, and I’ve seen him do well for his country. In fact, I recently watched him pick up a gold medal in the Olympic Football tournament—where he scored 3 goals and made 2 assists. In total for his country, he has played 59 times and scored 16 goals. In the second half of last season, he was loaned to La Liga side Racing Santander. Despite Santander being relegated, he scored 5 goals in 16 games (more than 20% of their entire goals for the entire season).
He doesn’t play much for his current club. In fact, since he was signed from Barcelona in 2008, he has barely had a look-in. Sounds good right? The problem is, I’m talking about Giovani Dos Santos and Spurs IS his current club.
The failure of Spurs to do anything with Dos Santos is a bit of a mystery to me. Obviously it takes time for new young players to settle in and adapt to a new country. Both player and manager have to figure out the best position to use them in. Sometimes, of course, it doesn’t work out and is never going to work out, in which case you sell them on. Spurs would more than likely be able to recoup their £4.7m outlay—especially if you tied on appearance fees, etc. with their new club.
So what’s happening? Since joining Spurs, Dos Santos has made 15 appearances in 4 years (compared to 28 in 1 season for Barcelona). He has been on loan at Ipswich, Galatasaray, and Santander. Rumours abound that he is too fond of staying out late and partying, and former manager Harry Redknapp never seemed to ‘fancy’ him.
Good performances at Santander and for Mexico have put him in the shop window, and his agents are are talking not of if, but when he will move. If he’s not good enough, then now seems the best time to try and make some money back. However, I’d like to suggest a radical notion that our new manager actually try to actively include and use him in the first team. If we let him go, I feel he’s going to be one of those “ones that got away” players like Kevin Prince-Boateng