Tottenham Hotspur Plotting A £16m Bid For This Venezuelan Sensation: The Missing Piece In The Jigsaw?

Spanish newspaper Don Balon are reporting Tottenham Hotspur’s interest in the 20-year-old Yeferson Soteldo. Amid interest from the likes of Real Madrid, Atalanta and Watford owing to his silky touch and the ability to dribble his way out of trouble, the Venezuelan apparently has an array of clubs to choose from. The player caught the eye having scored 21 goals in 84 appearances for Venezuelan side, Zamora FC and secured a move to Huachipato last January.

The 20-year-old excelled in the under-20 World Cup helping Venezuela reach the final, only to lose out to England. His pace and dribbling ability are a treat to watch and it isn’t hard to see why a lot of European giants are interested in the youngster.

What is baffling but is the amount that is being quoted to secure the services of a 20-year-old who hasn’t really plied his trade outside of Venezuela. The reported figure of £15.8 million by Spurs standards don’t really match up. Daniel Levy is generally known to run a tight ship. Standing at 5’3″, there are considerable doubts how the player would fare in a physical league like the one in England.

Soteldo is comfortable on either flank playing mostly at right wing. For his short stature, he has made a pretty big name for himself in South America impressing in Copa Libertadores and Sudamericana despite his team’s struggles. At 160cm, he’s shorter by a full 10cm than the Argentinian footballing God, Lionel Messi. Not only is Soteldo, distinctively the shortest player on the pitch, but also the most innovative. Displaying an excellent first touch, the Venezuelan embodies skill sets of a street footballer twisting and turning out of tight spaces. He is Hazard-esque to put it in Premier-League terms with a very low centre of gravity. Surprisingly strong for his dainty stature, it is incredibly hard to shake him off the ball.

He compensates for his lack of physicality by regularly sending defenders the wrong way courtesy his body feints and going past bigger opponents like they were mannequins. Brought up in difficult surroundings, the player understands the need for hard work and won’t be swayed by the attention that has come his way at a very early age. Usually played as a wide player, Soteldo is equally at ease in a traditional No. 10 role. Nurtured the right way, he could be one of the stars to look out for in the future.

Coming from a difficult neighbourhood, in Acarigua, having already beaten the lure of drugs and violence prevalent in the area, the player’s next big challenge would be beating the archaic mindsets that might prevent him from playing at a higher level due to his short stature. Venezuela’s little man currently displaying his craft at Chilean side Hauchipato has indeed cast a very big shadow putting clubs all over Europe on notice.

It remains to be seen if Mauricio Pochettino rates the player highly enough to push through with a deal.

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Soham Dwibedi

Lives, breathes and dreams football. To reiterate the words of Bill Shankly, "some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that."

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