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Why Tottenham should keep Giovani Dos Santos

August 24, 2012

Tottenham’s Mexican forward Giovani Dos Santos has been a serial underachiever ever since arriving in north London from Barcelona with a €6 million price-tag four years ago.

Despite having warmed the bench for what feels like forever, the Olympic gold medalist is still only 23 and has a promising future ahead of him, if managed properly.

Juande Ramos failed to get the best out of anyone during his brief tenure as Tottenham coach, while the famed man-manager Harry Redknapp would barely speak to him, Giovani has admitted.

This was at least partially self-inflicted, as Giovani earned a reputation for partying and arriving late to training. Legend has it that at weekends he would fly out to Barcelona to go on the lash with his former teammate Ronaldinho.

Mexicans had long held the hope Giovani could become the “new Ronaldinho,” but this was not exactly what they meant. Such was Giovani’s penchant for fiestas that Redknapp once joked he couldn’t walk past a nightclub without entering.

Loan spells at Ipswich, Galatasaray and Racing Santander did nothing to improve Giovani’s standing within the Spurs ranks and he was only called upon last season in the Europa League or as a last resort when chasing a late equaliser.

But for Mexico, Giovani always seems to shine. He assisted half of Mexico’s goals as they won the 2005 Under-17 World Cup, in which he was named second best player of the tournament. With the senior team he was also voted runner-up for young player of the 2010 World Cup.

Giovani scored a truly stunning goal in the 2011 Gold Cup final as Mexico came from behind to beat its fierce local rival the U.S.A. and most recently he netted three times to help Mexico to its only gold medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games, missing the final against Brazil only through injury.

Now, with just one year left on his contract he seems destined to finally leave Spurs, as chairman Daniel Levy will surely not allow him to go for free next summer. The cruel irony is that now more than ever, Giovani has a realistic chance of first-team football at White Hart Lane.

Having grown up in Barcelona’s fabled La Masia academy, he is much better suited to new manager Andre Villas-Boas’ tactical approach than he was to Redknapp’s “just fackin’ round around a bit” style.

Redknapp rarely played Giovani in his favored position, coming in from the wing or in the “Van der Vaart role” just behind the main striker. Yet he would be perfectly suited – arguably more so than the conventional winger Aaron Lennon – to the right-forward position in AVB’s favoured 4-3-3 formation.

Furthermore, the departures of Niko Kranjcar and Steven Pienaar mean there are fewer players than ever in between him and a place in the starting eleven.

As Spurs look to sign Shakhtar Donetsk’s Willian, they might be better off investing in a center forward, a young goalkeeper and a replacement for the Madrid-bound Luka Modric, while finally giving Giovani a chance in an attacking role.

He has never been given a run in the team, yet Giovani, arguably Mexico’s most gifted player, could be a revelation at Tottenham under AVB.

He is currently struggling with minor injuries which might complicate any move from Spurs, so Levy would be wise to give him until January to make an impression and only then sanction a sale if things still don’t work out.

2 Comments leave one →
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