Thursday 8 December 2016

Roberto Soldado to end Spurs nightmare as he heads for Villareal

Published 14/08/2015 | 17:42

Roberto Soldado will move to Villarreal
Roberto Soldado will move to Villarreal

Roberto Soldado is on the verge of moving back to Spain after Tottenham announced they had reached an agreement to sell the striker to Villarreal.

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Soldado became Spurs' most expensive signing when he moved to north London from Valencia for £26million in August 2013.

But he scored just 16 goals in 76 appearances over the course of his two seasons at White Hart Lane and found himself below Harry Kane in the pecking order in the second half of last term.

The 30-year-old has now been thrown a lifeline by Villarreal, who have confirmed Soldado has agreed a three-year deal and will be presented on Monday.

Soldado, who started his career at Real Madrid, earned his reputation as one of the best strikers in La Liga at Getafe then Valencia, for whom he scored 81 times in 141 appearances.

That convinced Tottenham to bid a club-record fee to bring him to England although Soldado did not have the same impact in the Barclays Premier League, where he only found the net on seven occasions in 52 appearances.

The Spain international scored once in 24 league appearances last season and will now hope to rebuild his reputation in his home country.

"We have reached agreement with La Liga side Villarreal for the transfer of Roberto Soldado," said Spurs in a short statement.

"We wish Roberto all the best for the future."

Villarreal finished sixth in La Liga last season and, like Tottenham, will compete in the Europa League this season.

Soldado released a statement, posted on his Twitter account, apologising for not living up to expectations at Tottenham and thanking the club's fans for their support.

"Back to La Liga!" he wrote. "These have been two difficult years for me, but I wouldn't change this experience for anything in the world.

"I'm very sorry for not having been able to meet the expectations that Tottenham had placed on me in the way I would have liked, I felt at home from the first day. I can only give many thanks to Tottenham for allowing me to represent the best club in England.

"Thanks for the elegance of all the staff, of my colleagues and of the great fans, who didn't stop cheering and supporting every second I was in the pitch, sincerely, THANKS. I'm taking with me friends and a great personal and family experience. We will always be a SPURS family #COYS."

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