Many Spurs fans must be wondering when wheeler dealer extraordinaire Harry Redknapp will burst into action this summer. Players including Tom Huddlestone, David Bentley, Didier Zokora and Darren Bent have all been linked with moves away from White Hart Lane, while on potential new recruits the rumour mill has churned out a host of names without any signings actually coming to fruition.
And so it continues this Thursday as the Daily Mirror report that the Lilywhites are interested in Atletico Madridâ€™s Argentinean winger Maxi Rodriguez.
Rodriguez began his career with his local outfit Newell’s Old Boys where Maxi spent three seasons netting 20 goals in 58 games, an impressive haul for a youngster. However, it was during the 2001 World Youth Championship with the Argentina Under-20 team that the impish midfielder’s abilities came to Espanyolâ€™s attention, and a transfer to La Liga was sown up.
In Spain Maxi continued to find the net with regularity, amassing 26 goals in 110 games (15 of those in his final season) while at the second-biggest club in Catalunia. Atletico snapped up the player with a paltry 7 million euro bid, which in hindsight has proven a great piece of business.
Maxi’s threat in front of goal continued with the Rojiblancos (30 goals in 107 games) as Rodriguez quickly established himself as a mainstay and integral cog in Atleico’s attack alongside the dynamic-duo of Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero up top, which all blended together to earn the Madrid team a place in the Champions League this coming season.
Although naturally right-footed, Maxi is predominantly stationed on the left-side of the pitch. He has been blessed with the ability of being able to run at speed with the ball before having the composure and wherewithal to deliver an inch perfect cross from out wide. And, as mentioned, Maxi is accustomed to contributing to the goal-tally each season, often bagging a least a couple of crackers in the process. Who can forget Maxi’s stunner against Mexico at the 2006 World Cup.
So why would Atletico let Maxi leave?
With only one year left on his contract and with an extension yet to be offered, the Argentine is said to be available for Â£9 million. However, Rodriguez insists that he is happy with Los Colchoneros and rejected claims that he will leave the club.
Nevertheless, El Mundo Deportivo report that it is common knowledge around the Vicente Calderon that Maxi is not one of the “untouchables” who cannot be sold, unlike Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan or Simao. The Argentine has reportedly had his differences with coach Abel Resino and it is no secret that Maxi did not haveÂ a great year for Atletico during the last campaign.
If Tottenham are successful in their pursuit of the player, the club may have a midfielder who is capable of replicating David Ginola in his heyday, and moreover, the Spurs fans may finally have an Argentinean who they can worship alongside the legends Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles.
Video evidence of Maxi Rodriguez can be seen here.