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The one that got away: Tottenham Hotspur’s January 2019 stance ensured current issues as AC Milan swooped for Krzysztof Piatek

This article forms part of our The Ones That Got Away feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern take a look back at players linked with moves in the past, and see how they would have made an impact had they signed for the interested side.

Mauricio Pochettino has not overseen the best start to a season at Tottenham Hotspur, with the North Londoners slumped in seventh place after taking just two wins from their opening six Premier League games.

The spread of goals scored has once again been an issue for Spurs, with the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium natives relying on talismanic striker Harry Kane to carry them to another top-four finish and potentially a first piece of silverware since the 2008 League Cup.

Fernando Llorente’s departure at the end of his contract in June has put an even greater dependence on the England captain, too, as the Spaniard’s exit has left academy striker Troy Parrott to serve as Pochettino’s second choice (Guardian).

Kane has carried Spurs’ goal threat since the 2014/15 campaign, when he hit 21 in 34 league games, and already has four this term. Heung-Min Son and Erik Lamela both have two to their names this league season, as well, but the former’s struggles in front of the net at Leicester City on Saturday helped to ensure Pochettino’s side left the King Power Stadium empty-handed.

Not one of Son’s three shots at Kasper Schmeichel were recorded as being on target by WhoScored, who have noted that the 27-year-old has only seen seven of his 16 efforts this term find the target.

Things could have been different had it not been for Tottenham’s transfer stance back in January, as a refusal to sign players (Football.London) meant AC Milan were able to complete a €35m (£31.1m) swoop for Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek (Guardian), a striker that was linked with Spurs earlier in the term (TEAMtalk).


AC Milan's Krzysztof Piatek in action v Inter Milan

It was suggested last season that Spurs, Manchester City and Liverpool had all received glowing reports on Piatek, as he stunned Serie A by taking Italy’s top flight by storm following a £4m move to Genoa from Cracovia.

By the end of September, he had already hit double figures – the first player to do so in Europe – and fired four goals in his debut for the Stadio Luigi Ferraris natives.

Clubs from around Europe soon descended on Genoa to cast their judgments on a Polish star now being valued at £30m by the Rossoblu, for whom he would score 19 times in 21 games (TransferMarkt) before securing his switch to the San Siro in January and becoming a Milan man.

Another new home for Piatek, the same results by Piatek. After a goalless debut against SSC Napoli from the bench, the now-Poland international scored in his first Rossoneri start, and again in the following three.

On the international stage, goals were free-flowing, too, with the Dzierzoniow-born hitman lashing three goals in four European qualifiers before the summer break.

His influence rescinded as the campaign rolled on and Milan began to let results slip, but the 24-year-old has found his shooting boots this term to score the winning goal against Verona with one of five shots on target, having seen six efforts blocked (WhoScored).

Tottenham fans, should Daniel Levy target a new striker in January to support Kane? Let us know in the comments below…

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Article title: The one that got away: Tottenham Hotspur’s January 2019 stance ensured current issues as AC Milan swooped for Krzysztof Piatek

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