The Tottenham Hotspur fans were bemoaning both their side’s failure to see off the challenge of Rochdale on Sunday in the 5th round of the FA Cup, and the performance of Fernando Llorente who was selected to lead the line.
Mauricio Pochettino took his side to Spotland Stadium on Sunday afternoon with every expectation of progressing into the quarter-final of the FA Cup, but Rochdale’s last-minute equaliser ensured that Tottenham will need to play another 90 minutes of football to reach the next round. Spurs needed a replay to get past League Two side Newport County in the 4th round of the cup, but lower league opposition once again proved to tough to defeat at the first time of asking.
After attempting to take the game to their opponents and showing little fear against Premier League opposition, it’s fair to say Rochdale deserved their replay. On the other hand, Spurs will be bitterly disappointed with their failure to get the job done against the side who are currently rock-bottom of League One, as a replay merely adds further congestion to an already hectic fixture list.
Pochettino opted to rest many of his regular starters and handed some of his fringe players a rare opportunity to impress against Rochdale, as Juan Foyth, Michel Vorm and Fernando Llorente were all included from the outset.
The latter was brought to North-London in the summer to support Harry Kane upfront, but thus far the 32-year-old has massively struggled for confidence due to his dismal goal-scoring record. Llorente’s lack of confidence was strikingly obvious on Sunday, and his inability to perform against League One opposition served to emphasise Tottenham’s need for a replacement next summer.
Harry Kane is unquestionably the clubs number one striker so signing a player to simply act as his understudy represents a complicated task, but West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic (valued at £16.2 million by Transfermarkt) would be a perfect player to fill the role.
Arnautovic would certainly not move clubs to play second-fiddle to Kane, but he could become a vital player for The Lilywhites due to his versatility to play as both an attacking midfielder and a striker. The Austrian international could operate slightly behind Kane or on the left-side of Tottenham’s midfield, and during Kane’s absence, he would have no problem filling in as the spearhead of their attack.
Tottenham’s clash with Rochdale last weekend proved that Llorente simply isn’t good enough to remain in North-London beyond the summer, so Pochettino should cash in on the Spaniard at the end of the season and replace him with Arnautovic.