This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how bad a deal the club got.
When Tottenham Hotspur sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in the summer of 2013, rather than spending the majority of the money made on one big-name recruit, they opted to spread the funds to bring in various players. Indeed, with many calling for an overhaul at the club amid recent results in 2019, it’s important to remember how badly things can go when there are changes, such as the ones six years ago.
One of those was Roberto Soldado, who joined from Valencia for a club-record £26m, as reported by BBC Sport at the time, while their other signings were Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches and Nacer Chadli, as per Transfermarkt.
There were varying levels of success experienced by the new recruits, with it safe to say Soldado was on the negative side of the spectrum.
The Spaniard had arrived with the promise of goals, having scored 30 in 47 across all competitions in the 2012/13 campaign – this tally included both of the goals in a victory against Sevilla, while he also scored a Champions League hat-trick against BATE Borisov.
In fairness to Soldado, he had a fairly good start to life at White Hart Lane, scoring 4 and assisting 2 in his first 9 Premier League games, ending the first campaign with 11 goals and 5 assists from 36 games in all competitions.
However, his second, and final, campaign at the club ended with 5 goals and 6 assists from 40 games, with only 1 goal, a winner against Everton, coming in the Premier League.
His disappointing two years in North London came to an end when Villarreal came in with an £11m offer for him, which Spurs accepted despite it meaning they would take a £15m loss on their original investment, as reported by The Guardian, whom Soldado told his failure to impress was down to his head not being in the right place.
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