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Coentrao the missing link in Tottenham top-four bid

| 20.08.2013

Regardless of the result of Real Madrid’s pursuit of Gareth Bale this summer, Tottenham look well set to sign Fabio Coentrao from the Spanish side.

Bale is 2/5 to join Real Madrid before the end of the transfer window, with Spurs weighing up moves for Anzhi Makhachkala’s Willian and Roma’s Erik Lamela as possible replacements for the Welsh forward, but Coentrao could be as crucial a signing as anyone this summer.

The rampaging left-back is out of favour at Madrid and reportedly happy to join compatriot Andre Villas-Boas at Spurs despite their lack of Champions League football this season.

With Coentrao in the side, along with other new signings Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli, Spurs would have a stronger team compared to last year regardless of where Bale ends up.

Either in the 4-2-3-1 Villas-Boas used in the 1-0 win at Crystal Palace, or in the 4-3-3 he is expected to use more this season, the full-backs are vital to the team’s attacking play.

With Spurs’ midfield well-stocked with powerful defensive players able to cover the full-backs, Coentrao would have free rein to roam forward and add width to his team’s attacks, especially given Chadli’s proclivity for cutting in off the flank.

Danny Rose put in a decent performance against Palace, but sterner tests await this season, and few would argue that Coentrao is not a considerable upgrade on the 23-year-old.

Spurs can be backed at 13/8 to break into the top four this year, but if they sign Coentrao and a reasonable replacement for Bale, they could be aiming even higher than a Champions League place.

They are currently 33/1 to win the Premier League, and although that is likely to be beyond them whatever happens in the transfer market this summer, a top three place could be in the reckoning.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.