One of these men is having some of the best footballing years of his life whilst the other is struggling to make a single appearance for his club, but that doesn’t mean this decision’s as straightforward as it sounds; we’re looking at two completely different players in Valencia’s Nikola Zigic and Monterrey’s Humberto Suazo, two strikers heavily linked with Spurs over the last week or so. With Roman Pavlyuchenko and Robbie Keane both being tipped to leave it is no surprise that Spurs are being linked to new strikers, but which would be the better signing?
Chilean Suazo was named the world’s top goalscorer of the year back in 2006 as he scored goal after goal in his homeland. His record in Chile is rather remarkable with 40 goals in 40 games for San Luis, 40 in 62 for Audax Italiano and 52 in 54 for Colo-Colo, better than most goal tallies we’ve ever seen. Add 44 goals in 85 games in Mexico with Monterrey to that and you can see that Suazo scores goals. He was even the top scorer in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying campaign ahead of anyone Brazil or Argentina had to offer.
At 5’8” Suazo doesn’t offer too much of an aerial threat and he could be likened to Jermain Defoe in terms of how he plays as he’s good with the ball at his feet and unafraid of launching a shot from distance or an odd angle. There have been questions as to his attitude and disciplinary problems but Suazo has acknowledged these problems whilst at Monterrey and promised to improve on them to become a better player. A potential weakness is that he has not played in Europe before and is unproven out of South America so he would prove a gamble for any European team. Then again, with his goal record it’s clear that he’s capable of finishing so well that he’s guaranteed some goals anywhere.
Zigic meanwhile bases his reputation on the fact that, at 6’8”, he’s the tallest footballer in the world and there’s nobody who’s as big an aerial threat as him – definitely not Spurs man Peter Crouch who’s been criticised previously for his aerial ability as a big man. Zigic did very well for all the clubs he played for early in his career before making his name at Serbia’s biggest club Red Star Belgrade where he proved their dangerman with heading skills (unsurprisingly) and finishing that led to a lot of Europe chasing him. His move to Spain’s Racing Santander proved successful as he quickly became a favourite there but that’s where Zigic’s happiness ends.
The negative side of signing Zigic is that he has baulked under the pressure of a bigger club. He failed miserably at Valencia, struggling to even get into the side and looking far from impressive when he did play. Spurs are definitely a bigger team than Racing or Red Star and would Zigic be able to succeed under the pressure of playing for them? He’s still got his goalscoring ability, he showed that earlier this year with a loan spell back at Racing where he was deadly but he hasn’t transferred that form to Valencia. It seems that Zigic will only succeed if the club show enough faith in him which Spurs may not be able to do given that Defoe and Crouch are first choices at the Lane.
Both strikers represent a gamble as Suazo is unproven and Zigic has failed at a high level already. Suazo could easily turn out to be another Diego Forlan who could just not adapt to the Premiership although he could just as easily prove to be in his element in the division. Zigic meanwhile would have to accept a rotational role and still manage to reach his Racing form – he’s used to being the key player for the teams he’s succeeded for whilst at Spurs he would be one of many rather than the individual star. For that reason and his attitude problems I’d recommend taking a gamble on Suazo instead, surely his goalscoring record could prove a source of a decent amount of strikes in England and he’s not known as anywhere near the sulker Zigic is. Zigic is a great player when he’s on top of his game but he’s already flopped once and could easily do it again.
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