Belfast Telegraph

Soldado sets 20-goal target for Spurs

Tottenham smashed their transfer record to sign Roberto Soldado last week - and now he wants to repay them by scoring 20 goals this season.

Spurs paid £26million to land Soldado from Valencia, eclipsing the £17million they shelled out for Brazil midfielder Paulinho earlier in the window.

On paper it is easy to see why the north London club agreed to pay such a hefty sum for a striker who will be 29 years old not long after the season's end.

Soldado scored more than 20 goals in each of his three seasons at Valencia, and his track record at Osasuna, Getafe, and Real Madrid is also impressive.

Other than Gareth Bale, who looks likely to leave Spurs in the next two weeks, Andre Villas-Boas' attackers failed to live up to their potential last term - and that is where Soldado hopes he can help out.

"I have tried to score (20 goals a season) and every time I have done it," said Soldado, who was speaking at the unveiling of Tottenham's new cup shirt sponsor AIA.

"This season I am going to try my best from the first day to get back to scoring because they signed me because of this reason. My objective is to score more than 20 goals. With the help of my team-mates I can do it."

Soldado scored 30 goals in all competitions for Valencia last season.

No Tottenham player has reached that landmark since Gary Lineker scored 35 goals in the 1991-92 season.

Adapting to a different league, especially after missing out on the majority of the club's pre-season programme, will be difficult, of course, but Soldado is sure that he can do it.

"The Premier League is a much more physically strong league than Spain," said Soldado, who has scored six goals in 11 international games for Spain.

"But the football is also played at a higher tempo and I think this will benefit me."

Villas-Boas declared that he was happy with how Soldado had settled into the club last Saturday after seeing the Spaniard impress during his first run out at White Hart Lane.

The 28-year-old's movement caused the Espanyol defence problems and he also had enough confidence to volunteer for, and score, a penalty.

The player himself has settled into London life well, even though he admits his "best friend" since moving has been his satellite navigation system because of the traffic in the capital.

"I feel good," Soldado added. "The welcome I have received from the club, the staff and all the fans has been phenomenal.

"It was very special to play my first game in our home ground, and to score a goal was a very strong emotion for me. Making the supporters happy is the most beautiful thing to do and I hope to do that again this weekend and for many more times in the future.

"I felt really good from the moment I arrived here. I can't wait to start official competition now and start helping Tottenham win, which is what we all want."


From Belfast Telegraph