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The Curious Case of Roberto Soldado: Why it's Time to Say Goodbye to Tottenham

08/05/2015 16:42 BST | Updated 08/05/2016 10:59 BST

Some things just aren't meant to be.

Most of us have felt that sinking feeling at some point. You know, when you try to stick it out with a partner who cares, puts you first. But all the while, both of you realise that the spark isn't there and that things just aren't going to work. Yet, you don't really want to admit it.

Sometimes, it's just best to face up to reality, get it out in the open and decide to move on. It's difficult, but necessary. It's in nobody's best interests to waste their time and effort.

Thinking about that in football terms, there's a perfect example of that relationship currently ebbing away at White Hart Lane. He's trying his best, bless him, but Roberto Soldado was just not made for Tottenham Hotspur.

Soldado - a striker who was once the deadliest in Spain - has seen his career take a nosedive since leaving his homeland for North London back in 2013. He was supposed to be the man to lead Spurs in a different direction after the world record sale of Gareth Bale, but if they've gone in any direction since, it's backwards.

From an individual standpoint, it's been a nightmare two years for the 29-year-old. He's scored only seven Premier League goals in nearly two complete campaigns for the club - where only one of those has come this season. It's been something of a different story in Europe, but the former Valencia man has failed to find anything in the way of momentum in a different white shirt.

Spurs welcomed Manchester City to the Lane on Sunday and found themselves 1-0 down after half an hour thanks to the league's top scorer, Sergio Aguero. It was he who offered the cutting edge that Spurs didn't have. The home side had plenty of possession, but lacked that X-factor to break down the normally porous defence of the former Premier League champions.

Christian Eriksen - though on the pitch - was absent. Manager Mauricio Pochettino hauled him off for the final third, but watching on, then came one collective heavy sigh at the replacement. Soldado it was, tasked with grabbing an equaliser and at least a point to go with it.

Needless to say, he was barely involved. Tottenham fell to defeat.

But it's such a curious case. How can a man who scored 24 league goals in his final year in Spain have fallen from grace so quickly? Is he a square peg in a round hole? Does his style not compliment the team? Is it a confidence issue?

Perhaps it's a combination of the three. But the end of the year is nigh and transfer silly season is coming around. One of the first things Tottenham should look to do is offload the Spaniard. That's not from a "he's terrible, get rid of him" point of view, it's for Soldado to have one chance of breathing new life into his flailing career.

Soldado is better off returning home. He'll never amount into anything more than a regular substitute at Tottenham now - his position at the top of the tree has been taken by the club's new hope. Harry Kane has come into the team this season and delivered what Spurs had hoped Soldado would, but he's home-grown, young and English. There's no uprooting Prince Harry.

But in a way, Kane's emergence has made Soldado's life easier. He may have taken his position, but the focus has shifted from Soldado's failings to hope on the young man's shoulders. It's been a whirlwind season for Kane to date, but at least there's someone delivering the goods.

Imagine if he'd never come along, and imagine the pressure on Tottenham's number nine.

Pochettino has a number of squad issues to address this summer. He's got deadwood to clear out and to bring in new players. He should be building his team around the PFA Young Player of the Year, concentrating on keeping a hold of Hugo Lloris and strengthening the defence considerably.

Tottenham's aspirations are to once more break into the top four. Kane needs to prove he's not a one-season-wonder, but in order to do so, he needs the necessary support network around him - he needs to know he's Tottenham's number one. And you don't doubt that's what he'll get.

Unfortunately, that leaves Soldado out in the cold. His two years in London have been nothing short of a disaster and it's time for both he and his manager to admit that. Soldado is better off somewhere else and it's time to front up and do something about it.

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