So it looks like we have stolen Eidur Gudjohnsen from West Ham at the eleventh hour. Not literally ‘stolen’ him of course, because that would indicate that West Ham had some ownership of Gudjohnsen.
Seriously, why are West Ham getting so uppity about this? So they were close to signing a player and then another team comes in with a late bid. The late bidder are fourth in the league rather than hovering outside the relegation zone, so the player decides to join the more successful club. Big deal. It happens all the time and Spurs have been gazumped many times ourselves over the years (though not by West Ham obviously).
In truth, I think that the Hammers are more angry at Gudjohnsen, rather than Tottenham, but if David Sullivan doesn’t know that footballers are generally only interested in what’s best for them, then he hasn’t learned much in his time in charge of Birmingham.
This morning all the papers are saying that the deal is done subject to a medical this morning. So let’s look at a deeper issue. What are we going to do with him?
We’ve already got four strikers at the club, without enough games to keep them all happy. One would assume that the signing of Gudjohnsen would indicate that Pavlyuchenko will definitely leave, though the press are also reporting that we’ve turned down an £8 million bid for him from Birmingham City. Sounds like a decent amount to me, but Levy has held out for more money on many players in the past and eventually got it.
Assuming that Pavlyuchenko leaves, then bringing in Gudjohnsen on loan makes sure that we have enough forwards at the club to cope with any injuries, whilst minimising financial outlay. He’s clearly not a signing for the future, but on a temporary basis, looks like a decent solution.
However, it has to be said that swapping Pavlyuchenko for Gudjohnsen doesn’t add to the potential striking partnerships available to Redknapp, but instead reduces them. Gudjohnsen and Keane are surely too similar to play together, while Crouch works best with a partner that stay close to him and is ready to pounce on his headers.
Gudjohnsen may be able to play just behind Defoe effectively, but no one else. Keane and Crouch doesn’t work, so we’re left with three strikers who can all play alongside Defoe, but probably not with each other. So what happens if Defoe gets injured?
The other issue is whether the player is still up to performing in the Premier League. He was never more than a squad player at Barcelona and has been a flop at Monaco, which is why they are willing to loan him out.
Gudjohnsen is a versatile player and is able to play in a central midfield role, but he’s not really the type of midfielder we need. I don’t see Gudjohnsen being any more than a squad player at Tottenham, but as he’s only on a six-month loan, he doesn’t need to ever be anything more than that.