Monday, May 21, 2018

Villas-Boas happy with strikers

SoccerNews in English Premier League 29 Jan 2013


Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas insists he is not interested in adding to his strike-force during the January transfer window.

Spurs have been linked with Celtic front-man Gary Hooper and Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo but with transfer deadline day looming, the north London side have not approached either player.

The Portuguese boss says he is happy to continue putting faith in his crop of attacking players while also revealing top scorer Jermaine Defoe is in line to make a return from injury against Norwich on Wednesday.

“It’s something that we are not really considering. I think we have enough cover in the striker department, and we are happy with what we have got,” Villas-Boas said.

“We’ve got some positive news on Defoe. We’re happy to have him back after he missed the FA Cup game with Leeds United. At the moment, we’ll just keep on going.

“I was never in Scotland (to watch Gary Hooper). I don’t know where that story came from. Obviously the player has huge talent, but it was never mentioned to us.”

Despite not signing an out-and-out striker in this window, Tottenham have been active in other areas, agreeing terms with Schalke to bring attacking midfielder Lewis Holtby to White Hart Lane.

The German international had originally signed a pre-contract agreement to come to Spurs at the end of the season but thanks to a reported bid of 1.5 million pounds, Tottenham managed to convince Schalke to allow the player to leave in the current window, a move Villas-Boas is delighted with.

“We rate the player very highly. We managed to buy him at a good price. It will always be a question of how much Schalke wanted for the player,” he said.

“I think there was a willingness from Holtby to come early. We had the possibility, within reason, to bring him here so we have decided to add him to the squad.

“He is an extremely talented attacking midfield player who can play in different roles. Not only that, but he was raised before as a midfield player. At the weekend, he played in 4-4-2 as one of the two holding players, so he offers that possibility.”

Villas-Boas knows his side will be in for a tough match against Norwich after both sides suffered shock exits from the FA Cup.

The former Chelsea manager is particularly wary of the danger their opponents pose from set-pieces along with the capabilities of striker Grant Holt.

“Norwich, since the beginning, have dropped down in terms of results recently. They are always willing to come back to the form they showed recently,” Villas-Boas said.

“I think they have an extremely good squad. Their pace in the channels is outstanding. Their delivery from set-plays is second to none. They have a proven striker with a good scoring record.

“We don’t expect any easy game, for sure. But it is a game where both teams will play to win, bearing in mind what happened at the weekend.”


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