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Versatile Napoli man keen on replacing Defoe at Tottenham

| 19.01.2014

As the transfer window reaches its halfway stage, the traditional time when Spurs do the bulk of their work is fast approaching.

It’s therefore no surprise to see rumours about a potential move to replace Jermain Defoe kick into high gear, with Napoli’s Goran Pandev thought to be keen to fill the role.

Defoe is on his way to MLS franchise Toronto FC in March and Tim Sherwood needs a replacement to provide cover for Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado, who have placed the first choice striking spots under lock and key since the former Blackburn captain took over.

Pandev, who joined Rafa Benitez’s side permanently after a successful loan spell there, is thought to be concerned over his future playing time at the Serie A side and is being used inconsistently by his Spanish manager, only starting two or more games in a row twice so far this term.

Napoli have certainly coped well without the Macedonian, losing just one of the nine matches he hasn’t started and winning the rest, and will likely see him as a player they can cash in on.

The move will benefit Spurs, who are 3/1 outsiders for a top four finish, with the 30-year-old’s versatility working in Sherwood’s favour. Capable of playing up front as a main striker, Pandev has operated most often in a role behind the front man for his current employers, scoring five goals and laying on one assist from that position.

His ability to play off the right wing means that Sherwood could effectively replace Defoe as the third striker, while also gaining cover for Christian Eriksen and Aaron Lennon in the process.

And with reports suggesting that the new Spurs boss is keen to trim down the size of his squad, bringing in such a versatile player of Pandev’s quality will surely appeal.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.