When you think of Brazilian forwards, the stereotype isn’t necessarily that flattering. Technically-gifted, bizarrely-coiffured, but frustratingly self-indulgent.
That’s not Leandro Damiao, and Internacional’s biggest asset is more Zlatan Ibrahimovic than Neymar. He’s a goal-scorer, a poacher, a dominant forward with the physical presence and technique to be a real power in the Premier League.
In many ways, the transfer saga that exists between Damiao and Tottenham is reminiscent of Vicenzo Iaquinta drama from a few years ago: lots of rumours, plenty of talk, but no action.
But there’s one significant difference: this guy is actually worth the trouble.
Emmanuel Adebayor has now committed to the Africa Cup of Nations, and it’s time for Daniel Levy to react to that and meet whatever Internacional’s price may be. As with a lot of South Americans, Damiao is part owned by third parties, making any transfer potentially convoluted – but this is a player who could elevate Tottenham, and make them genuinely competitive at the very top of the English game.
This is someone who Levy cannot afford to miss out on, and it’s time for that ‘special relationship’ with Internacional to be used for the good – if Tottenham are unwilling to hand over the cash for Damiao, somebody else inevitably will.
The money is there, because we know that the club tried to spend £22m on Joao Moutinho in the Summer, so if the rumoured £15m fee is accurate, then there are no excuses for not getting this done. With Adebayor’s departure now imminent, Andre Villas-Boas cannot be equipped with just one forward for the next six weeks – that would be to do him a disservice.
Have the balls to pull the trigger on this, it’s been long enough.