The press is full of speculation today that Spurs are planning a swap deal that will see Robbie Keane join Aston Villa and John Carew come to White Hart Lane.
According to most reports (which probably means that someone thought it up and then everyone else copied them), the deal would involve Villa paying us an additional £5m.
Some people have stated that this figure is a little high considering that Keane is 29 years old, but don’t forget that Carew himself is now 30. What would Carew be worth on the open market? £4-5m at most I suspect, though probably less. So the whole deal would amount to Keane being valued somewhere between £8m-10m, which seems about right considering that he cost us £12m a year ago.
The number of people who’d like Spurs to cash in on Keane now, rather than wait until the end of the season is growing, but aside from the issue of whether we want to dump our captain, is Carew a player that we really want or particularly need at the club?
He’d certainly provide able cover and competition for Crouch. Whilst though it is easy to imagine him partnering Defoe, he’s not a player that could be played alongside Crouch. With Pavlyuchenko possibly leaving and also not that suited to playing alongside Crouch or Carew should he stay, we’d probably have to purchase another forward to provide cover for Defoe.
Would we really get rid of both Pavlyuchenko and Keane during the middle of the season, to bring in Carew and possibly one other striker? It seems unlikely to me and too much of a gamble given our position in the league.
If the deal were to happen then I’d imagine it would be late in the window, if we’ve already sold Pavlyuchenko. Harry has said that he doesn’t mind having only three strikers in the squad if Pav is sold in January, but that’s because he’s quite happy playing any out of Defoe, Keane and Crouch alongside each other. Take away Keane and add Carew, and you are left with only two possible forward options. What do we do if Defoe isn’t fit to play alongside either Crouch or Carew?
I suppose there is the option of a five man midfield, with Modric, Kranjcar and Lennon providing support for a lone striker, but again, I’m not sure if we should be making such drastic changes in mid-season.
So I’d be surprised if this deal comes off. My guess is that Keane won’t leave in January, but he’ll be ditched in the summer if his form hasn’t improved.
As for Carew, I quite like him, but if we’re after another big lump, then I favour Sunderland’s Kenwyne Jones. He has the pace and athleticism that Crouch lacks and would offer more of an alternative than Carew.