Reported Tottenham and Aston Villa target named Player of the Year, 26 goals in 34

ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM - JANUARY 12 :  Paul Onuachu ( KRC Genk ) & Janice Cayman pictured during the 68th edition of the Belgian Golden Shoe award. The Belgian Golden Shoe ( Dutch: Gouden Schoen , French: Soulier d'Or ) is an award given at the beginning of each year for the best footballer of the Belgian first division (Jupiler Pro League) for the past year. The trophy is sponsored by the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws on January 12, 2022 in Antwerpen, Belgium, 12/01/2022 ( Photo by Nico Vereecken / Photo News  via Getty Images)
Photo by Nico Vereecken / Photo News via Getty Images

After Tottenham Hotspur exited the EFL Cup at the hands of Chelsea in midweek, swatted aside with ease by their London neighbours as another piece of silverware slipped through the club’s clutches, Antonio Conte went public with his desire to bring a new centre-forward to the English capital. 

“I think that, especially in this league because the level is very high and you have to play a lot of games, if you want to have ambition, to be competitive, to fight for something important, you have to have 20 players. Two players in every role,” said Conte, a manager who rarely resists the temptation to call for new signings (The Sun).

Just ask Inter Milan.

“For sure, as a coach it’s very difficult to decide to keep Harry (Kane) on the bench,” Conte adds.

“But at the same time, when you play the way we played in the last period – six games in 17 days – every coach has to have the possibility to make rotations.  

“You have to know that if you want to be competitive, you need a couple of players for every role.” 

Football 100 Years In The FUTURE According To Football Manager 2022

The fact that Conte had little choice but to haul Kane off the bench during last week’s nerve-biting FA Cup victory over third-tier strugglers Morecambe – the England captain finding the net in his 21 minutes on the pitch – spoke volumes about the lack of alternative options at the Italian’s disposal. 

This is not a new problem either.

It is eight years now since Kane forced his way into the first-team picture under Mauricio Pochettino.

In that time, you could argue that Tottenham have not come remotely close to finding a striker capable of easing the crushing burden of expectation on Kane’s shoulders. 

Carlos Vinicius, last season’s Benfica loanee, was the best of a largely bad bunch. Whether Paul Onuachu can thrive where Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente failed, however, is up for debate. 

Is Paul Onuachu the right striker for Tottenham Hotspur?

GENK, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 19 : Paul Onuachu forward of KRC Genk celebrates scoring a goal during the Jupiler Pro League match between KRC Genk and Royal Antwerp FC on December 19, 2021 in Genk, Belgium, 19/12/2021 ( Photo by Sebastien Smets / Photonews via Getty Images)
Photo by Sebastien Smets / Photonews via Getty Images

The Mail reported in the Autumn that Tottenham were weighing up a £20 million swoop for the Nigeria international. Aston Villa and Southampton are also keen.

Who will Paul Onuachu join?

At 6ft 7ins, Onuachu would certainly give Tottenham something different; A viable Plan B. 

But, as Aston Villa supporters will tell you, a prolific goalscoring record in Belgium is not easily replicated in the Premier League.  

Onuachu was named the Jupiler League’s 2021 Player of the Year this week after netting 26 goals in 34 games. Previous winners of the prestigious Golden Shoe include Vincent Kompany, Thorgan Hazard and Axel Witsel. 

But Conte wants a striker capable of competing with Harry Kane. Not one just to fill in during Europa League dead-rubbers and FA Cup clashes with lower-league opposition.

Is Onuachu the man for the job? Or just another Ally Samatta?

Genk's Paul Onuachu celebrates after scoring during a soccer game between Austrian SK Rapid Wien and Belgian KRC Genk, Thursday 16 September 2021 in Vienna, Austria, on the first day (out of six) in the Group H of the UEFA Europa League group stage. BELGA PHOTO VIRGINIE LEFOUR (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

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